'Gold Rush' 3: Executive producer Christo Doyle on the 'sweet' story of Parker Schnabel and his grandpa

Today's cupp: PG tips tea

Gold-Rush-Parker-Schnabel.1.jpgEarlier today, I posted a story on Zap2it.com -- click here for that -- in which 18-year-old gold miner Parker Schnabel of Discovery's hit reality series "Gold Rush" discussed seeking his fortune in his native Alaska and his close relationship with is his 90-something-year-old grandpa, John Schnabel, who has put his grandson in charge of the Big Nugget Mine near Haines, Alaska.

I also posted a story about the two-hour live "Gold Rush" finale -- airing Friday, Feb. 22 -- featuring executive producer Christo Doyle (click here for that) Just for HCTV fans, here's what Doyle had to say about the young man with gold fever ...

"I'm nuts about Parker and his family," he says. "It's an incredibly sweet story. it comes Gold-Rush-Big-Nugget-Parker-John-Schnabel.jpgthrough on the show, but in person, when you're talking to Parker about his grandfather -- I don't think I've ever talked to anyone who reveres a family member as much as Parker does his grandfather.

"The thing that I love as the executive producer is, it makes the show more well-rounded. You've got this big, tough, manly group of guys in the (Todd and father Jack) Hoffman crew, and then you've got this sweet family story with Parker. He's kind of the underdog, so it makes the show an all-around better program."

Asked what Parker is like in person, Doyle says, "He's a true Alaskan. I spent a good amount of time with him up in Haines, and I think you grow up at a different rate in Alaska. He's been shooting bears since he was eight. He's a tough, hardened kid, there's no question. There's nothing soft about him."

While Schnabel told me he gets the occasional marriage proposal via Twitter, Doyle says he doesn't consider himself a teen heartthrob.

"He would say no, but yes, he has (become one), There's no question he has become one. What I heard is, the local police station in Haines, Alaska, gets phone calls from young Gold-Rush-Monica-Beets.jpgwomen in the Lower 48 trying to find out where Parker lives. There's only one cop answering the phone in Haines, Alaska, having to deal with these phone calls for Parker."

But, is there a special someone in Schnabel's life?

"The last time I was with Parker," says Doyle, "he did not have someone in his life. It's interesting. I think he's picky. I think that's a Schnabel thing. He had a little crush on (legendary miner) Tony Beets' daughter Monica, so I think he likes women who have the same interests he does."