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Who’s Hot: Cabbie host takes to the streets for fans’ input

<p>From the Raptors on court to the Rangers on ice to Cabbie On The Street, sports fever has hit the big city.<br /></p>




Cabral “Cabbie” Richards





Name: Cabral “Cabbie” Richards

Occupation: TV Host & Producer





“I’m like almost, almost famous. I’m the big fish in a small pond of ‘Hey, do I know you from somewhere?’ It’s still very far away from ‘Hey, that’s so and so.’”






From the Raptors on court to the Rangers on ice to Cabbie On The Street, sports fever has hit the big city.





Whoa. Go back. Cabbie wha?





Cabral Richards (a.k.a. Cabbie) is the host and co-producer of Cabbie On The Street, a segment that airs Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 p.m. on The Score television network.





The segment’s vibe, says Richards, reflects his personality: “I’m loud, annoying and, on occasion, funny.”





Case in point: “Cabbie On The Street sucks less than most Nicolas Cage movies. And it’s free on TV.”





Geared for football, basketball and hockey buffs, the segment features the 29-year-old interviewing everyone from fans on the street to pro athletes like LeBron James, Derek Jeter, David Ortiz and Mario Lemieux in stadiums across North America.





Richards’ favourite among the lot, though, is Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant.





“In Las Vegas for the NBA All-Star game, I asked a bunch of players if they’d be my best man at my fictional wedding.





“Kobe Bryant accepted. Steve Nash declined because he was going to Dirk Nowitzki’s sister’s wedding. True story,” recounts Richards.





Cabbie launched in 2001 (“it really sucked for about six months”) after Richards, then a Score scriptwriter, was persuaded to be the man-on-the-street responsible for collecting sound bites from sports fans.





Following a hiatus in 2002, the show rebounded in 2005, and has since shot 200 episodes to date.





Meanwhile, a spinoff, Cabbie Unlimited (4:30 p.m. weekdays) has also hit the small screen, and fan sites with members tallying in the thousands have since popped up in Richards’ honour.





“I’m like almost, almost famous. I’m the big fish in a small pond of ‘Hey, do I know you from somewhere?’” says Richards. “It’s still very far away from ‘Hey, that’s so and so’ and miles away from ‘These girls want to meet you.’”





For the kid who loved, but fared average at sports while growing up, you’d think having your own TV show after stints in acting would spell bliss. But nope, “The perfect cocktail for happiness in life is permanent residence at the Playboy Mansion,” quips Richards.





For more Cabbie On The Street information, visit The Score television network’s website at www.thescore.ca.




whohot@rogers.com