Presenter and musician Giovanni Zarrella won the German Television Award - and thus caused a small flood of tears. The 44-year-old, who presents "The Giovanni Zarrella Show" on ZDF, was awarded the coveted trophy for the best individual performance as an entertainment presenter on Wednesday evening. His first comment was, "Okay, that's awesome."
But it got emotional when he then started a far-reaching speech of thanks – to his wife Jana Ina Zarrella, to his parents and to his children. "Honey, you know exactly: the last few years, they weren't always easy for us and they weren't always easy," he said in the direction of his wife.
"You have made me a better man, a better person, a better father. I love you more than anything." Many tears flowed from the 45-year-old and there was a kiss on top of it. The entertainer also had a message for his children. "Everyone who wins at some point, who is a winner, a champion, was at some point a challenger who didn't stop believing in himself," he said. "I wish you the same. I love you more than anything."
Best entertainment show doesn't go to Zarrella
In fact, victory and defeat were very close together for Zarrella that evening in Cologne. Before his triumph, he had come up short in another category. His colleague Joko Winterscheidt (43) got his ProSieben quiz “Who is stealing the show from me?” the award for the best entertainment show - ahead of Zarrella's format. Last year he had already won in the division with the show. "I never would have thought that it was really realistic," said the somewhat bewildered Winterscheidt about the successful defense of the title.
The creators of "Faking Hitler" (RTL) could also feel among the bigger winners of the evening. The series about the scandal surrounding the forged Hitler diaries received an award for "Best Drama Series". In addition, leading actor Moritz Bleibtreu, who plays the art forger Konrad Kujau, was honored as best actor. Friederike Becht won the television prize for actresses for her role in "Schneller als die Angst" (ARD).
Ukraine coverage appreciated
Among the journalists, the ZDF reporter Katrin Eigendorf was honored for her reporting from Ukraine. Eigendorf dedicated the prize to all reporters working in the war-torn country. It was certainly one of the wars in which "propaganda and disinformation played an above-average role," she said. "That's why it's important that we, as reporters that viewers can trust, show what's really happening here."
The German Television Prize has been awarded for outstanding television performances since 1999. It is carried by ZDF, Sat.1, ARD, Deutsche Telekom and RTL. ZDF was in charge in 2022, this time dividing the award into two evenings. On Tuesday, many jobs behind the camera had already been honored in a smaller "Night of the Creative". A big TV gala then followed on Wednesday as a primetime show, moderated by Barbara Schöneberger.
If you add up both days, several productions were able to celebrate prizes in two categories. Among them was "Faking Hitler", but also "Faster than fear", "The Wannsee Conference", "Who is stealing the show from me?", "The Passport" (Sky), "Eldorado KaDeWe - Now is our time" (ARD) and "Kevin Kühnert and the SPD" (NDR). Most of the awards - eight in all - went to ARD.
Pandemic in the background, but topic nonetheless
The red carpet was relatively well attended. Even if the word "Corona" obviously hadn't completely disappeared from people's minds. "I'm very happy because I'm not yet overfed with major events," said comedian Wigald Boning (55) before the gala. But it is also only the second time that he has been going out since the beginning of the pandemic. “I actually calculated: If I get infected tonight, will it be enough until my next productions?” Reported moderator Ruth Moschner (46). Unfortunately, she is not "team loose".
Actress Iris Berben (72, "Altes Land"), who was visibly moved, received the honorary award for her life's work this year. "It's so beautiful," she said, fighting back tears.