• Germany's news in English

Gottschalk jumps to ARD after Wetten, dass ..? accident

The Local · 15 Jul 2011, 15:38

Published: 15 Jul 2011 15:38 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Gottschalk, who has already quit his long-running variety show Wetten, dass ..?, will present an evening show four nights a week on the ARD channel Das Erste.

The popular 61-year presenter, famed for his blond curls, occasional D’Artagnan beard and velvet suits, quit his former show in February after hosting the mix of music, interviews and challenges performed by members of the public since 1987.

Candidate Samuel Koch seriously injured his spine on the programme in December after falling badly while using spring boots to jump over moving cars. He remains paralysed from the neck down. Gottschalk’s producers came under criticism in the wake of the accident for allegedly introducing increasingly dangerous stunts in a bid to secure ratings.

Starting January, the new half-hour live show running from Monday to Thursday on ARD will have guests from the entertainment and arts industries to discuss issues of the day. The show will be interactive, with viewers able to participate in the discussions via Twitter, Facebook and Skype, but there will be no studio audience.

“The serious side of life belongs on the news,” Gottschalk said in a statement posted by ARD. “But there is, thank God, as well as politics, epidemics and financial crisis, also still the whole everyday madness. I’ll be responsible for those in the future.”

He was “absolutely ready for this challenge,” he said.

ZDF reacted to the announcement with equanimity.

“Thomas Gottschalk and ZDF were a successful symbiosis over decades,” boss Markus Schächter said. “We would have liked to continue.”

He added: “I wish him every luck and success.”

Gottschalk would nevertheless return in the autumn for three special episodes of Wetten, dass ..?

ZDF is meanwhile looking for a new host for the programme, which is to continue.

Story continues below…

It remains unclear whether Gottschalk and his wife Thea will return to live in Germany. Since the early 1990s, the couple have lived with their two sons mainly in Malibu, nearly Los Angeles in the US.

An ARD spokesman said it was also yet to be determined whether the new show would be produced in Germany or the US – in which case many of the interviews would need to be done via satellite hook-up.

DAPD/The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd