• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Wetten, dass? stopped after on-air accident

The Local · 5 Dec 2010, 10:14

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

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.

Story continues below…

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)

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
This Week in History
75 years since one of Holocaust's worst massacres
Photo: DPA

On Thursday, German president Joachim Gauck spoke in Kiev 75 years after the Nazis slaughtered 33,771 Jews during one of the worst single massacres of the Holocaust.

Six things you need to know about troubled Deutsche Bank

Shares in Deutsche bank plunged on Friday morning, dragging down other European banks and markets worldwide. Here are six things to know about Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bahn jacks up prices for first time in 3 years
Photo: DPA

Germany's main rail provider, the state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB), announced on Friday that it will raise prices on long-distance train travel.

Baby found alive in suitcase with skeleton in Hanover
File photo: DPA.

A baby has been found alive, along with the skeleton of another infant inside of a suitcase in Hanover, police reported on Friday.

Morocco to speed up repatriation of illegal migrants
Photo: DPA

Morocco has agreed to streamline the procedures for the repatriation of citizens living illegally in Germany, the royal court said late on Thursday.

890,000 refugees arrived in Germany last year - not 1.1m
Photo: DPA

Previous reports had suggested that around 1.1 million people entered Germany to seek asylum last year. But now the German government has confirmed the number was actually lower.

Racist attacks cast cloud over Dresden Unity Day planning
A police vehicle in Dresden. Photo: DPA.

As Dresden prepares to host Germany’s national Unity Day celebrations on Monday, the capital of the eastern state of Saxony is upping security after a mosque was targeted by a homemade bomb.

Sinking Deutsche Bank stock sends shock across Europe
Photo: DPA

Shares in Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank plummeted on the Frankfurt stock market on Friday, dragging other European banks and global markets down with it, after reports some customers were pulling money out.

The Local List
10 things you never knew about German reunification
Reunification celebrations in Hanover in 2014. Photo: DPA

With German Unity Day (October 3rd) happening on Monday, Germans are looking forward to a three-day weekend. But did you know these facts about reunification and German Unity Day?

Munich pharmacy’s nighttime porno show draws crowd
Photo: DPA

When a police patrol in Munich's Sendlinger Tor area noticed a crowd gathered outside a pharmacy window they went to investigate. But the onlookers weren't interested in a new line of flu medicine.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
6,718
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd