Playing host comes easily to Sangita Patel. When we arrive at her Mississauga, Ont. home, the ET Canada personality welcomes us in to chat about her role on the new series Home to Win (Sundays, HGTV Canada). The series features 20 of TV's best-known design pros all pitching in to create the ultimate dream home. Once experts like Scott McGillivray, Sarah Richardson and Mike Holmes have left their mark, viewers will have the chance to win the impressive property (see hometowin.ca for more).
"I like to explore different things and this is definitely different from ET Canada," says the mother-of-two, who trained as an engineer before making the jump to media. "It also gave me the opportunity to bring back the engineer in me!" Here, the TV star fills us in on her star-studded career and experience hosting Home to Win.
The host of the new series Home to Win shows off her own home in Hello! Photo: © Caitlin Cronenberg
Sangita, what was it like joining the cast of Home to Win? It's been really great. Every time I walk into an interview for ET Canada, I go in thinking that for the time I have with you, you're my best friend. I use that same attitude [with the pros]. They're so down to earth! It's been a lot of fun.
Have any of the experts inspired your taste in home decor? Sarah Richardson has inspired me in so many ways. When I bought my previous house, I actually watched her show to look for inspiration. The first time I met her was during Home to Win.
You were planning on a career in engineering when you pursued TV instead. At the time, did it feel like a big risk? Career-wise, it's a big shift, but I think the passion was always there. A lot of us [are fearful] of stepping out to try what we actually want to do. I think we get stuck. [I thought], "I'm going to live my passion now." That's where it all started.
Fans know you from ET Canada. Have there been any celebrity interviews that you were especially excited about? George Clooney made me coffee – that was a "pinch me" moment. Helen Mirren was amazing. I walked into the room and she was cursing. I thought, "This is the coolest lady I have ever met." I'm in love with Helen Mirren after that experience.
What's a typical day like for you? I don't have a typical day. In terms of work, I don't know where I am every day. Every day is different, and that's what makes life so exciting.
Photo: © Caitlin Cronenberg
Do your daughters think your job is cool? I think they think it's really cool. I've been doing a little bit of acting as well and they practice lines with me.
Has your family ever been surprised by what you're up to at work? My husband [Samir] is pretty incredible. He's my best friend and is always there to support me with what I want to do. He's very good at making sure you think about things before you do it. He's always backed me up in everything I've done.
For more with Sangita, pick up issue 499 of Hello! Canada available on newsstands Apr. 28.