Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg: Will he be the new star in the RTL sky?

Karl-Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Buhl-Baron von und zu Guttenberg (50) is back.

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg: Will he be the new star in the RTL sky?

Karl-Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Buhl-Baron von und zu Guttenberg (50) is back. The ex-politician, often only abbreviated to KT, was Federal Minister of Economics, then Defense Minister and a great supporter of the CSU. And he was by far the most popular politician. Many Germans would have liked to see him in the Federal Chancellery right away. But then came an unprecedented political crash...

But now he's coming back. The largest German private broadcaster RTL announced at the end of September: Thomas Gottschalk (72) and Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (50) will take over the annual review "People, Pictures, Emotions" from the outgoing moderator Günther Jauch (66). The show will be broadcast on RTL on December 11 at 8:15 p.m. and focuses on the most important stories and events of the past year - with the people who made them special.

For the former politician, this TV appearance is just part of a deal. Guttenberg is currently working on two docutainment programs for the RTL streaming service. He will present the first documentary in November. There he takes on the power politics of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

KT has matured as he celebrates his 51st birthday on December 5th. The face is a bit fuller, he has recently sported a three-day beard. The time of the gelled head of hair, which according to "taz" used to "still stand like a freshly forged spiked helmet even at a humidity of 70 percent", is over. The visual message could be that he has discarded his varnished coat. And he can go back to Dr. name Guttenberg. In 2019 he received his PhD in correspondent banking from the University of Southampton. His new academic degree: "Doctor of Philosophy".

His first doctoral thesis must have triggered a trauma. After all, she destroyed a sky-storming political career almost overnight when it came out in 2011 that the lawyer Guttenberg largely used foreign texts for his dissertation without stating this. The doctorate was revoked, KT resigned from all political offices due to the severe criticism, for him "the most painful step of my life", which was also caustically ridiculed.

In these "self-inflicted dark hours" (Guttenberg about Guttenberg), he was called "Dr. No" or "Self-Defense Minister" in reference to the first James Bond film. The radio station "ffn" played its own version of the prince's hit "Everything just stolen" based on Guttenberg: "I just stole everything... my doctorate is messed up". The song became a hit on YouTube.

It was anything but funny for the politician's family. His wife Stephanie zu Guttenberg (45) recently said in a "Bild" interview: "It was as if the world was collapsing on me... This hatred was so great at the time that a member of the Bundestag seriously said this sentence to my husband threw his head: 'In the past they would have shot you for it.'" Even the two daughters were "taken into clan custody. They didn't want children from parents like us at school."

The Guttenbergs went to the USA, the ex-minister worked in Washington for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In 2013 he founded the consulting and investment company Spitzberg Partners in New York, which also had the now insolvent payment service provider Wirecard as a customer and advised Lufthansa and the EU Commission.

Now a new attempt at RTL. It's the long-awaited comeback of a 50-year-old who for the past few years has felt like his future is already behind him. Or is it the birth of a new media star? "No doubt," writes the "Süddeutsche Zeitung", Guttenberg is "charming, and he can speak beautifully. When it comes to 'speak beautifully', it's not so much what you say that matters as how you say it. That's important on television ."

KT can do that. With regard to his past, he speaks of an "abysmal self-inflicted failure" and when it comes to "overconfidence", he is not unpracticed, the "Tagesspiegel" quotes him as saying. It took him a long time "to overcome my vanity." You don't hear such tones from (prospective) moderators every day. He's quick-witted, entertaining, and self-deprecating, which can no doubt be entertaining when he says (without a script) that he can still "quickly copy a speech." And: "I'm doing gymnastics here and not at the lectern, because otherwise I run the risk of reading a copied speech."

He can also dish out, with plastic language that resonates with the audience. He calls North Korea's dictator a "dick pug with a funny haircut" and Donald Trump a "blonde jack-in-the-box." When he turns on a lightbulb, "he climbs into a chair and waits for the world to revolve around him."

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) is the "Gazprom-Gerd" for him, and he gives this Putin friend a cheeky pun: "Old love doesn't rosneft." As a reminder, Rosneft is a Russian oil company. Pretty cheeky, the KT. Unfortunately, others had had this idea beforehand: "Old love doesn't rosneft," wrote the "FAZ" about an article that dealt with Schröder, Putin and Russian energy. A "faz.net" editor promptly tweeted: "Once a plagiarist, always a plagiarist."