THE DISNEY BLOG EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH EM:HE’S ED SANDERS

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Chances are you are familiar with ABC’s hit show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. There are few people that have missed it, and fewer still that will ever miss it again. It is a show that demands attention. The premise is simple, take deserving people and build them a new home.  The "Extreme" is the 7 day window in which they must build said home and also in the magnitude of over the top creativity that each new home receives.

The results are amazing. The homes are always beautiful and innovative, overwhelming but accommodating.  Yet, the houses themselves, splendid though they are, have taken a backseat to the real stars of the show, the families in need and the communities that rally to their aid.  It is pure kindness, real joy and lots of tears.  Lots of tears. The show has become a uniter in way that few, if any, could have ever predicted.

Leading this charge is a team of designers that have shown skill and heart with levels of tact and tenderness seldom seen on television. The effect of their involvement is not lost on them.  They may have been hired for the job, but EM:HE offers far greater reward than a mere paycheck.

Ed Sanders is a member of that team, a fun-loving family man that delights viewers with his quirky English sayings and passionate involvement.  Recently I had a chance to talk with Ed about the show and his career.

Whit:  What can you tell us about the "After the Storm" special editions?

Ed:  For the "After the Storm" specials we have tried to help as many people as we could in the storm hit areas.  There are so many people that need help in these areas it is difficult to just pick one person or family.  We thought that instead of making one large home for one family we could try helping as many families as we could in smaller ways.  Though sometimes we would help a family by giving them something small like a washer and dryer,  the reactions from those families were as big as if we had given them an entire home.  It just goes to show that even the smallest amount of help can truly effect people in a positive way. If we all could just do a little part in helping the survivors of the storms, we could rebuild entire communities.  There is definitely power in numbers!

(There’s much more of this exciting interview after the jump)

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Whit:  That
sounds like the popular movement surrounding the show called "Pay It
Forward", encouraging people to help people.  What is it like to have
landed on a show with such a positive message?

Ed:  Of course I feel great about being a part of "pay it
forward".  It is amazing that my career has brought me to EM:HE, and
that I not only get to live out my professional dreams, but I also get
to give back to the world.  I love to entertain people, and I do feel
that entertaining in itself helps people in a variety of ways.  If
nothing else the entertainment industry helps people to laugh, and
perhaps relax, after a long stressful day of work.  But when it comes
to our show, it does so much more.  Hopefully, by paying it forward on
a show like EM:HE it will inspire and encourage others to do the same
in their own lives.  Just a little bit from all of us can go a long way!

Whit:  Speaking of encouraging people, how about inside the industry?  I’ve read recently that Zach Braff (of Disney’s Chicken Little)
is a huge fan (and a bit of a crier), as I’m sure lots of celebrities
are- how cool is that, and has it opened any other avenues for you as
an entertainer?

Ed:  It is great that big celebrities like and watch our
show.  It definitely does not hurt for them to talk about the show.  In
some cases they may even make people who have never watched the show,
become aware of it.  The best thing about Extreme Makeover: Home
Edition is that it not only entertains the public, but it actually
helps the public.  There are not may shows on TV today that can say
that.  All in all, the more people, celebrity or not, that watch the
show,  the more opportunities that open up for me in the entertainment
industry. So please, keep on watching!

Whit:  Sticking for a moment with entertainers, have I noticed the show using music by Coldplay lately? I’m guessing they are fans too.

Ed:  From what I have heard they are big fans of the show.  Who knows, we may see them on our show one day.

Whit:  What’s the deal with the t-shirts you are always wearing?

Ed:  I wear a lot of t-shirts that have my own personal
sayings on them.  Being English some people may or may not understand
all of them.  I do say "Be Lucky" to almost everyone, and if I ever
call you a diamond geezer I’m not referring to you as a sparkly old
man.  It is funny that you have mentioned the t-shirts because in the
next couple of weeks they will be for sale off of my website, www.edsanders.net. (Hope you don’t mind the plug!)

Whit:  Now that you are an official Disney star, any chance
we’ll be seeing an Ed Sanders character in the Disney parks, ala other
famous Brits like Mary Poppins and The Mad Hatter?

Ed:  I am afraid that if that ever happened children might
run away crying.  I think the sight of a large bald headed Ed Sanders
might be frightening to some people!  (after all some kids run way from
the real thing!!!) Though I wouldn’t mind being a permanent part of
Disney history, if I do say so myself!

Whit:  I know you did some television back home in London,
most notably hosting the U.K.’s version of Fear Factor, before coming
to the U.S. to further your career.  What do you think is the biggest
benefit to you personally from doing a show like this?

Ed:  The best benefit from doing a show like this is that not
only am I forwarding my career in television, but I more importantly
get to help people who truly deserve and need it.  It is very rewarding
to be involved in a show that so profoundly helps the American
community.  In all of my years of working on TV, EM:HE is my most proud
work to date.

Whit:  Okay Ed, I’ll let you off the hook.  Thank you so much for doing this interview for us here at The Disney Blog!

Ed:  Take care and be lucky!

Extreme
Makeover: Home Edition can be seen Sunday nights on ABC.  Watch Ed.
Watch the show.  Watch the passion.  Pay it forward and don’t fret your
tears.  They unite us.

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