• Germany edition
 
Wetten, dass? stopped after on-air accident
Photo: DPA

Wetten, dass? stopped after on-air accident

Published: 05 Dec 2010 10:14 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Dec 2010 10:14 GMT+01:00

One of Germany’s biggest television shows, Wetten, dass? was ended early on Saturday night, before global stars including Take That and Justin Bieber could perform, after a candidate seriously injured himself in a stunt.

The 23-year-old student Samuel Koch was trying to jump over a series of moving cars while wearing spring stilts, but something caught on the fourth vehicle and he fell and lay motionless on the floor.

Hosts Thomas Gottschalk and Michelle Hunziker called for a doctor and the cameras panned away from the stage where the man was lying. The television feed was soon switched to repeats of musical acts which had previously appeared on the show, which regularly attracts millions of viewers across Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

After 25 minutes of musical repeats, Gottschalk announced that the show would not go on. Samuel Koch was being operated on in hospital and there was no detailed news on how he was.

“We will here and now break off the programme,” said Gottschalk. “Anything else would be wrong. We here at ZDF feel responsible to not make jolly when we are not.”

He said that Samuel Koch was conscious and could feel his legs, but that he was being operated on at the University Hospital in Dusseldorf.

Introducing the stunt, Gottschalk had told the audience that he had been very worried when watching rehearsals of Samuel Koch jumping over cars being driven towards him, according to Der Spiegel.

“I have never been so scared, that something would happen to this young man. I can only say, I hope all goes well,” he said.

The magazine speculated on Sunday that the stunts performed by members of the public on the show were becoming increasingly dangerous at least in part due to competition from Das Supertalent show which is scheduled at the same time on commercial station RTL.

Samuel Koch was jumping over successively bigger cars, and broke off the second jump, looking irritated and stressed, according to Der Spiegel. The third car he cleared, but the fourth, which was being driven by his father, was too much, he caught himself on it somehow and crashed to the floor.

It is the first time in 29 years that the show has been broken off. “It is the first time in my long, long career that such a thing has happened and we have carried out many dangerous stunts,” Gottschalk said later. “I have always said that would be the worst thing for me, if something happened to one of my candidates in a live show. I regret enormously that this has now happened.”

DAPD/The Local/AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

12:44 December 5, 2010 by pepsionice
Two observations: first, over the past decade....I've noticed at least twenty stunts that I would not have allowed on national TV like this....via Wetten Dass. They've had this mentality of acceptance long before any competition like they mention.

Second....the audience who watches this show is typically over the age of 30. The younger audience typically doesn't watch the show. I would speculate that the management of the show convinced folks that these "stunts" were necessary to capture the younger audience.

This is the end of the wild stunt period, and we can now go back to dog tricks and old women identifying forty-four types of tea pots by just feeling the spout while blindfolded.
14:29 December 5, 2010 by Henrik1966
@Iain & Siobhan:

Of course "Wetten dass.. ?" has no time delay ... this is Europe not the USA ... if we watch something live we want the real deal and not something that has been or can be influenced på the tv station!!! Another "Nipple gate" is no threat for Europeans!!! And even swearing is not something that should be beeped out!!!
17:15 December 5, 2010 by DanielF
Yes but Henrik, Yorkshire is in England, not the USA.
17:25 December 5, 2010 by scallywagy
Which has us wondering even more, who should be more worried now- the host, the the victim attempting to please the audience, his family, the competing show or the audience who will now be forced to metaphorically complete their own stunts?

http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2010/12/stuntman-seriously-injured-live-on-german-tv-show-wetten-dass/
18:13 December 5, 2010 by Landmine
It's just stupid to do things like this in the first place.....
18:41 December 5, 2010 by auniquecorn
@ Henrik1966

If they had time-delay, My 6 year old daughter, along with thousands of other children would not of had to see this,

Time-delay serves a purpose.
19:07 December 5, 2010 by inmyopinion
It is irresponsible to allow stunts like this in a show. In the end it was up to Gottschalk to say no, and that he didn¦#39;t, just added another example to demonstrate ¦quot;cognitive distortion¦quot;. What¦#39;s next? Russian roulette?
21:18 December 5, 2010 by acb
@ auniquecorn: shouldn't a 6year old be in bed by 8pm?
21:48 December 5, 2010 by Al Davis
@ auniquecorn

I think that you are an irrisponsible parent to let your 6yr old stay up this late and watch a dangerous live stunt.

Or are you that 'kin stupid you do not understand the meaning of the word "LIVE"

@ inmyopinion

Whats wrong with Russion roulette (coward)
00:18 December 6, 2010 by bartschaff
Time delay in TV shows is for moralist hypocrites and cowards.

If the public wants to watch a guy performing some useless task that can end up in his death, fine, I do too, but watch it on then.

@ auniquecorn: learning that doing something stupid can get you hurt is a valuable lesson for a kid.

And, still on time dealy ""live"" shows: only a morally sick society considers some nudity or swering to be utterly inaceptable on tv. F**k! That's how people speak. @Tits@ for you.
01:00 December 6, 2010 by dcgi
The battle of the freak-shows is hotting up.
09:46 December 6, 2010 by moistvelvet
@auniquecorn "If they had time-delay, My 6 year old daughter, along with thousands of other children would not of had to see this"

Actually isn't it better to see this as an example of what not to do, obviously children of that age won't be jumping cars but a lesson in the dangers of falling on your head or neck leading to paralysis isn't such a bad thing.

@acb "shouldn't a 6year old be in bed by 8pm?"

shouldn't you mind your own business and leave parents decide for themselves what time their children go to bed.

No matter how bad this accident may have been, the guy did choose to do this stunt. Rather like Noel Edmonds in the UK when someone died whilst doing a stunt, could this be the end of Wetten das? or will the shocked and horrified audience forget all about Samuel Koch come New Year!
22:46 December 6, 2010 by Talonx
@ The Local

¦quot;We here at ZDF feel responsible to not make jolly when we are not.¦quot;

That sentence is not a translation.
Today's headlines
Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112
Gertrud Henze. Photo: DPA

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112

Germany’s oldest woman died at the age of 112 on Tuesday. Gertrud Henze was born on December 8th 1901 and joked her long life was down to never getting married. READ () »

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent
Police search the area near where Gabriele's body was found in October 2013. Photo: DPA

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent

The alleged murderer of an exchange student in southern Germany stayed silent in the dock on Tuesday on the first day of his trial. READ () »

European Elections 2014
'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Hans-Olaf Henkel (r) celebrates the one-year anniversary of the AfD with leader Bernd Lücke. Photo: DPA

'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'

In an interview with The Local, one of the leaders of Germany's eurosceptic party talks about Europe's future, why Britain is a model country and why he will not work with UKIP's Nigel Farage. READ () »

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire
Nane, with her father and a picture of the cartridge-laden wood. Photo: DPA

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire

Two 12-year-old German girls found live ammunition lodged into a branch in an Easter bonfire. It was due to be lit the next day, potentially igniting the cartridges and causing disaster. READ () »

Opinion
'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'
Photo: DPA

'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'

Germany's reliance on Russian gas continues to limit the nation's diplomatic leverage in the Ukraine crisis. But as leaders once again explore fracking as an alternative, critics told The Local the risks were too high. READ () »

German rapper-turned-jihadist 'killed in Syria'
Deso Dogg. Photo: YouTube screenshot

German rapper-turned-jihadist 'killed in Syria'

UPDATE: A German former rapper who joined jihadists fighting in Syria was reported dead on Tuesday by jihadist sources, but hours later some retracted the claim, saying he was still alive. READ () »

Have Your Say
Who should pay for Germany’s roads?
Photo: DPA

Who should pay for Germany’s roads?

A top politician's suggestion that drivers should be charged €100 a year towards the upkeep of Germany's roads was met with derision on Tuesday. But how should Germany fill the black hole it its infrastructure budget? READ () »

Tax income hits March record
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Tax income hits March record

A record amount of cash flowed into German government coffers in March thanks to land, beer and incomes taxes, a monthly report from the finance ministry revealed on Tuesday. READ () »

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup
Photo: DPA

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup

German unions called on Tuesday for shift workers to be granted later starts during the football World Cup in Brazil this summer. Some of the matches begin at midnight due to the time difference. READ () »

Parents' house burnt as son went clubbing
Photo: DPA

Parents' house burnt as son went clubbing

A man who had thrown a party at his parents' empty mansion over Easter in central Germany returned after clubbing to find the entire building on fire. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,050
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd