Tom Bergeron Talks Family, Boston, and Dancing with the Stars

The Haverhill native opens up about returning to the show following the death of his parents.

Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron suffered a pair of tragedies in the months leading up to the celebrity dance competition’s latest season.

Earlier in March, the Haverhill native announced that his mother Catherine had passed away, just four months after the death of his father Raymond.

Bergeron revealed that he’s had some help getting through the difficult period thanks to the comforting message he’s received from fellow co-host Erin Andrews, who’s had a rough time herself dealing with a lawsuit against a stalker. The Massachusetts born star said that they are both looking forward to getting back to the series in order to “relax” a bit.

Check out what else Bergeron had to say about his family, his Boston roots, and what advice he’d give to this season’s cast.

It’s been a rough few months for you and your family. Was it hard getting back into the swing of things for Dancing with the Stars?

Erin Andrews and I have been texting back and forth, she’s been going through her own stuff with the trial and I, of course, have lost both of my parents over the course of four months. I think both of us are looking forward to getting back to work so we can relax.

As a Massachusetts native, you must be excited that Doug Flutie will be on the show this season.

Very much so! When Doug was at B.C., I was doing People Are Talking on WBZ, Channel 4. I think we both have the same first agent, Bob Woolf, in Boston. I’m looking forward to seeing Doug.

Do you get to come back to the city often?

Oh absolutely. Both of our daughters went to school in Boston. Our oldest daughter went to Emerson and our youngest daughter spent a couple of years at Northeastern before transferring out to California. We have family in Merrimack Valley and I was back a lot over the past couple of months with family stuff, as you can imagine. We get back and I fully plan to make at least one or two stops back east during the run of this season.

I’m sure you don’t miss the snow, though.

I do! We live half the year in Connecticut and that was one of the things that I really did enjoy was, despite some of the sadder family aspects of the past few months, I got to be back in some real weather, a few snowstorms. It wasn’t as bad as what you guys dealt with last year, but we got a few nice snowstorms and it really appealed to the New England native in me.

Do you have any favorite memories from your years of hosting Dancing with the Stars?

The thing I will always take away from this experience is how unpredictable it was. Even those of us in the midst of getting it ready to go on the air in 2005, while we all believed we had an entertaining show, that in and of itself is no guarantee. A lot of people have entertaining shows and they get canceled. The fact that we have a celebrity ballroom competition that is now in its 11th year is something none of us could have predicted.

Having seen so many different stars compete, do you have any advice for this year’s contestants?

Listen to your pro, get as much sleep as you can, and don’t worry about the fact that several million people will be watching every step you take. Maybe that’s not going to make them feel less nervous.

Doug told me that Gronk would beat him in a dance contest. How do you think he’d do on the show?

I would think he’d do great. We’ve had great success with NFL players on the show over the years, several of whom have won. This is the first season we’ve had three NFL players with Doug and Antonio Brown and Von Miller, so it’s going to be interesting to see how the competition is among the three of them. But I would think Gronk would do great.

Judging by his end zone dances, he seems to have a knack for it.

Call that his audition reel.

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

This interview has been edited and condensed.