The former Jeopardy! on-air correspondent and recent Channel One News host is once again ready for action after a brief brake during the winter season. Sofia Dickens, known as Ms. Lidskog prior to her marriage to husband Reed last October, recently hired new representation and is currently meeting with networks all over Los Angeles.
“I’m ready to go and there are a couple of things that I might know more about even by next week,” Dickens says. Her agent is moving quickly and the days ahead are fully booked with meetings. She looks cool and relaxed, and her eyes sparkle with excitement as she ponders the possibilities ahead.
While hosting “Channel One News,” a national entertainment and news show with eight million viewers that airs daily in middle- and high schools across the country, Dickens reported live from the presidential election, the sideline of the Superbowl, and was also sent to Vatican City in Rome to cover the pope’s funeral. Her confidence in finding the right future endeavor may come from the fact that she’s following in the footsteps of household names like Anderson Cooper of CNN, Lisa Ling of National Geographic, and Maria Meneunos of the NBC “Today Show,” who all had her job at Channel One before her.
Although Swedish by birth Dickens left the old country as a ten-month-old baby and grew up in Concord, Mass. with her Swedish parents, and even today she handles the language with ease. She spent one full summer in Sweden playing Lacrosse with their national team in the European Championship between high school and college, but never lived there again. “My family became so Americanized that we never went back,” she explains.
“Swedes really go out of their way to enjoy the summer since there is not a lot of it. People take the time to relax,” she says. Families out on their boats, the Swedish flag flapping in the breeze and little summer cottages represent the Swedish image to her. She is missing not having a good midsummer party to look forward to where she lives in Newport Beach. --She did go to one such party on the beach in California, and it wasn’t quite the same.
“The Swedish culture is so wonderful that it’s something I carry with me,” she muses. One important difference in the two cultures, according to Dickens, is that Swedes enjoy simple pleasures while Americans often go for what’s more luxurious and excessive. She really respects that aspect of Swedish culture, that simple things like lingonberry juice and cinnamon rolls can make you happy. Even when it comes to possessions Swedes are more minimalistic and everything is a little less complicated; there is less to choose from over all, and that’s a good thing, she thinks.
Her husband knows that Swedish food has to be part of Dickens’s life and several trips to IKEA a month to pick up meatballs and other must-haves is proof of that. For the wedding that took place in her husband’s native Louisiana, the guests were treated to a traditional Swedish Princess cake, made from scratch –including the marzipan, by a local lady who followed a recipe from the restaurant Aquavit in New York. It was a huge success with the international crowd and it also happens to be Dickens’s personal favorite.
Spending so much time in front of the camera requires looking good and when asked about special beauty secrets Dickens’s answers casually: “I think that you look the most beautiful when you’re comfortable with what God gave you.” She thinks for a moment and continues: “I work in a really competitive industry and if you’re constantly wanting what other people have you’ll never be happy.” She is wise and experienced beyond her years; that’s for sure.
She focuses on staying in shape by going to a gym close to her home where she does a regiment of yoga, weights and cardio. She loves her cardio tae-boxing, but also very much enjoys playing tennis and golf with her husband. She favors no special skin products, but stays out of the sun as much as possible, always wearing 45 sun block to her friends’ amusement.
On the road Dickens’ always brings along a bag of blue corn chips and carrot sticks. She is careful about what she eats and avoids sugar and carbohydrates as much as possible. “There isn’t much I don’t eat, I just try to keep the quantity down,” she explains. She enjoys exotic foods in moderation and doesn’t follow any particular diet.
Dickens’ loves to read, especially about politics and recently she finished “Founding Brothers,” a book she really likes to carry with her. Reading it she realized that the struggle to agree amongst the founders of the country centuries ago continues even in today’s politics, where the opposing sides still have differing visions on how things should be run. She found it very exciting to get to tackle issues from a cultural, religious and political side, all of which interest her deeply.
Thanks to the vast experience from working on “Jeopardy!” and Channel One News Dickens is able to choose carefully in looking for a new show. She already has turned down many things that didn’t feel right, others didn’t really interest her. She would very much like having a job where she has some creative input, but it’s also important to her that she feels passionate about what’s already going on there. “TV is an exciting industry because there is a constant flow of new programming, so I’m excited about all the possibilities,” she says with a broad smile.
“For now I’d like to stay in California,“ she says. At the same time she is still willing to travel the world for the right job, but finishes with: “I’d love to be a mom some day. I think Newport Beach would be a great place for the kids to live. But, then again, so is the South…”
Text: Anna Connell
Photography: Henrik Olund
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