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'Cha Cha Chard' off the farm and away from anchor desk

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EDITOR'S NOTE: "15 Minutes With Bryce" is a new feature in which columnist Bryce Donovan sits down with local celebrities and asks them things most people would never think to -- or want to know the answers to, for that matter. Starting things off is Channel 5 TV anchor Debi Chard.

Q. Besides Bill Sharpe, do you have any good luck charms?

A. (Laughs.) I really don't, but I do rely on Bill quite a bit. ... Sometimes I do walk into the studio the same way, which I think is maybe kind of crazy.

Q. So you don't spill your beer?

A. Exactly.

Q. Speaking of Bill, how often do the two of you not wear pants behind the anchor desk?

A. We encourage Bill to wear pants at all times.

Q. What's the most awkward on-air moment you've ever had?

A. The most awkward was when the cameras were not balanced correctly and they were showing Warren Peper to be green on the air, and so I was over here looking at the monitor going (groans like she's sick), and all of a sudden I see myself punched up (on screen).

Q. What person, if you were interviewing them, would make you nervous?

A. I would be nervous interviewing the pope.

Q. I would, too. I'm nervous right now. (Pause.) Are you from Iowa?

A. Yes.

Q. Besides moving away from it, what was the best thing about it?

A. (Awkward silence.)

Q. I think you need a slogan or a catchphrase. Something they can use in TV promos. I took the liberty of coming up with a few that I think you'll like: Chard and Feathered. Chard-hitting. Debi does Charleston. Cha Cha Chard. I've literally got dozens of these things.

A. Please don't char and feather me. Cha Cha Chard. I like that.

Q. What's the strangest place you've been recognized?

A. I was in a Denny's restaurant coming back from Florida on the interstate and ... it was 3 o'clock in the morning and some people recognized me and said, "Debi Chard! Hi! ... We love Channel 5!"

Q. Is it true your husband's name is Rabbit?

A. Yes. Yes it is.

Q. Would you rather go Rollerblading with Kris Kristofferson or do ballet with Baryshnikov? (Two of her favorite people.)

A. (Gasps.) Can I go half-and-half?

Q. Sure. You can Rollerblade with Kristofferson to the ballet.

A. That is my dream day.

Q. You live on what many people would consider a farm. What kinds of animals do you have out there?

A. We have marsh tackies. We have guinea hens. We have pea fowl. We have geese.

Q. So you have to check your clothes closely before you come into the office every day?

A. Yeah, your shoes.

Q. Who is the coolest person you've ever met doing your job?

A. Well they change every day, so I guess it'd have to be you.

Q. That's pretty sad, Debi. If you weren't a TV newscaster, what would you being doing, do you think?

A. I would probably be working in public service somewhere. Maybe working for a nonprofit, doing something for other people.

Is there a local celebrity you'd love to see sit down with Bryce? Send your ideas to

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