Meet the Host: Dave Salmoni
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Meet the Host: Dave Salmoni

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W Staff

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April 5, 2016

As host of Game of Homes, Dave Salmoni guides four teams of skilled amateur home renovators as they compete for the chance to trade their skills for the prize of a lifetime – their own home and a plot of land to put it on. The teams save rundown houses from the wrecking ball and week-by-week, revive them into dream homes, one room at a time. Each team works side-by-side, around the clock, to completely transform these dumps into show homes – while also living in them through the entire renovation. They will battle small budgets, tight deadlines, cramped quarters and each other for a chance to win a home and change their lives forever.

Multi-talented Sarnia, Ontario native Dave is an internationally recognized on-air television host, animal trainer, and television producer. He is best known as the host of the Mark Burnett reality series Expedition Impossible on ABC, as the host of several television documentary series on Animal Planet and Discovery Channel US including Deadly Islands and Rogue Nature, and for his animal handling guest spots on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Chelsea Lately and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, to name a few.

Dave is a large predator expert, with a specialty in re-wilding captive-born tigers and lions. He has survived shark and lion attacks and has his own production company based in South Africa that specializes in wildlife films. Taking over the reins from former host and Entertainment Tonight correspondent, Cameron Mathison, Salmoni goes from taking care of giant tigers to taking care of tired and worn out renovation teams. Dave brings a passion for renovation and the expertise he has learned from his wife, who is an accomplished interior designer.

We chatted with Dave to learn a little more about him.

What brought you into animal training?

I have always had an interest in animals. That, along with a curious mind, has allowed me a life that has had me jumping at any exciting opportunity. Shortly after my first degree I was offered a chance to get hands on and train some very exciting animals.  I jumped at the chance.  

What's the scariest encounter you've ever had with an animal?

Unfortunately, working with dangerous animals like I do, I have encountered many life-threatening situations. It would be difficult to choose which one was scarier than another.

Let’s turn the turn the tables a bit: how have animals trained you?

My animal life has shaped me in a lot of ways. I am more calm, observant, and thoughtful; working with animals has helped me learn to communicate in many different ways. Animals have been in my entire life, and have been one of the main driving factors of my adult life.  There isn’t a me without animals.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

I’d like to build a log cabin and one of those HUGE rock fireplaces!

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

I guess great advice is always best situational. I have been given lots of great advice in many situations -- one of my favourites is “How do you stop an elephant attack? Don’t let it start!”

What, or who, motivates you to do what you do?

Motivation comes from lots of places on lots of subjects. I enjoy filling my life with my passions and I work hard to do so.

If you could go anywhere in Canada, where would it be?

I always love to go to my family cottage, and I’d love to go camping in the Rockies.

What’s the next country to visit on your bucket-list?

I am lucky enough to have been to more places than anyone deserves. Africa is my favourite destination and I would always choose to go back there. 

Catch Dave on Game of Homes, Tuesdays at 10 E/P on W Network!

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Game of Homes
Dave Salmoni
Colin & Justin

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