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Gottschalk leaves Wetten dass..? after accident
Photo: DPA

Gottschalk leaves Wetten dass..? after accident

Published: 13 Feb 2011 09:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Feb 2011 09:52 GMT+01:00

Thomas Gottschalk, host of Germany’s most successful television show Wetten, dass..? will step down at the end of the season after a contestant was paralysed during a stunt performed on the show.

Gottschalk, 60, announced his decision on Saturday evening during the 30th anniversary show of the wildly successful programme which regularly books world-class stars and mixes music, chat and challenges performed by members of the public.

More than 10 million people saw his live announcement that he would stop presenting the show after a run of 24 years. He could not present the relentlessly upbeat show with what he said was a shadow hanging over it.

Candidate Samuel Koch seriously injured his spine after falling badly while using spring boots to jump over moving cars during the show in December, and has been paralysed since. Gottschalk’s producers came under criticism in the wake of the accident for allegedly introducing increasingly dangerous stunts in a bid to secure ratings.

But although Gottschalk will be gone – and he will present the next six shows until the end of the year – Wetten, dass..? will continue, said Thomas Bellut, ZDF programme director on Saturday evening. The show will take a six-month break after Gottschalk’s last programme, but will then continue with a new presenter.

And Gottschalk will not disappear from German television screens – ZDF will keep him on, and is planning a number of big appearances for him, including a fundraising gala for Ein Herz für Kinder, as well as a show called Menschen 2011 and Echo Klassik.

DPA/DAPD/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:59 February 13, 2011 by pepsionice
My pick for the replacement.....Verona Pooth.
20:19 February 13, 2011 by reprap
With all the crazy stuff they have done on that show, an accident was bound to happen. Gottschalk needs to man up and act like a man and don't go crying about every little thing.
20:21 February 13, 2011 by Dougbal01
I do not think he should go. He should in a way make amends for it is everyone involved in the show to ascertain that things go accordingly. He is a great presenter though i have little German, i have watched him and enjoyed his great abilities.
23:14 February 13, 2011 by cklb
Agreed with Dougbal01, Gottschalk should not go. Somehow the "fire" or "resign" if anything happens-mentality is taking over. Doesn't contribute to the quality of anything, I guess...
08:03 February 14, 2011 by The-ex-pat
In the UK, back in the 80's there was a program called the "Late, Late Breakfast Show". It had a section in it that was similar to Wetten das. This show had two serious accidents that involved long stays in hospital with multiply broken bones and then a death before it was cancelled. The BBC pushed and pushed with the stunts because it was about ratings. It is no different here with Wetten das. 30 years ago it was betting if a football player could kick a ball X number of times through a hole in a wall, today it is jumping over a moving car(s). Why? because no one would tune in today to watch the football player. The stunts have gotten so extreme that danger has to be part of it it get people to watch. How perverse it that??? For Gottschalk to step back, he has my respect. The blood lust from the Germany public (granted not all) that he should carry on.......give me another candidate, this one is broken is quite unbelievable. But of course, they will forget rather quickly if someone is killed where as Gottschalk I am sure will not, any more than Noel Edmonds can forget the name Michael Lush.
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