Television: “NDR Talk Show” with anniversary edition

What do Angela Merkel and Klaus Kinski, Verona Pooth and Karl Lagerfeld, Alice Schwarzer and Roger Moore, Ina Müller and Robbie Williams have in common? They have all been guests on the “NDR Talk Show” on Norddeutscher Rundfunk in Hamburg.

Television: “NDR Talk Show” with anniversary edition

What do Angela Merkel and Klaus Kinski, Verona Pooth and Karl Lagerfeld, Alice Schwarzer and Roger Moore, Ina Müller and Robbie Williams have in common? They have all been guests on the “NDR Talk Show” on Norddeutscher Rundfunk in Hamburg. Some of them even multiple times.

Almost 1,000 issues have been broadcast since 1979. On Friday, 10 p.m., the current main presenters Barbara Schöneberger (49, "Do you understand fun?") and Hubertus Meyer-Burckhardt (67, "Women's Stories") will celebrate. In a two and a half hour live broadcast and again with many celebrities. NDR director Joachim Knuth calls the format, which is broadcast three times a month, “a surprise bag of television entertainment,” with six to eight guests and more than a million viewers each time.

“This format will be around for a long time”

What might be the secret of success? Schöneberger has an idea: "Because it's close to people. People like to talk - it's nothing more," said the 49-year-old to the German Press Agency in Hamburg. Meyer-Burckhardt immediately agrees: "There's actually nothing that can be improved." The show remains popular because its concept has never been changed. “Until recently, it felt like there were the same chairs there as in the 70s. And on the table the same wreath arrangement made of cones, cinnamon and dry oranges,” joked Schöneberger, who has been with the party since 2008.

This is the prognosis of Meyer-Burckhardt, who was the discussion leader from 1994 to 2001 and has been there again since 2008: "This format will be around for a long time." Schöneberger spontaneously adds - he has a wide range of professional careers and is an entrepreneur's wife and mother of two children in his private life: "And with us! Hubertus and I have a lot of time - and more and more time in the future. If all other engagements stop due to age - the NDR will hold us there . And we'll hold on to that - if necessary, stick to the armchair. Here it's like being the Pope. You know, when in doubt, you do it until the very end. Nobody talks to us about our contract - I honestly know "I don't know what kind of contract I have."

You want to discover people

In addition to these two, Bettina Tietjen and Johannes Wimmer are the second team of moderators today. And her more than 80 predecessors over 44 years included Hermann Schreiber, Wolf Schneider, Marie-Luise Steinbauer, Dagmar Berghoff, Alida Gundlach, Carlo von Tiedemann and Julia Westlake. In terms of age, the entertainment classic from Hamburg is only topped by “3 nach 9” from Radio Bremen – the first German talk show to be broadcast since 1974.

How would the two TV stars generally describe the purpose of their conversations? "It's about discovering people behind the reason why they are there," answers Meyer-Burckhardt. And adds: "I find it interesting, for example, to see why is he sweating now, why are his hands shaking - or why not. And: As a rule, we don't ask private questions, but rather personal ones." Schöneberger adds: "That's what I always say to guests who are excited beforehand: Just tell me what you know - how you would do it otherwise. I'm the ignorant one and you know what it's about." Moderators should exude relaxedness and create an atmosphere that is homely and invites you to reveal something about yourself.

It can't be too funny

Before the anniversary broadcast, the moderators also show self-criticism. “Of course it’s not always possible to build a bridge to the guest,” says Meyer-Burckhardt. "But often you are more critical of yourself than the audience is of you. On the other hand, we also experience every now and then, when we feel a real party atmosphere, that the audience then says it was far too restless. People then have the feeling that there was a party to which they were not invited. You have to find a concentration that - which is relatively difficult - also allows for cheerfulness. The audience has to be able to empathize with the conversation."

And last but not least, feel the respect for the guest. Finally, the two formulate another recipe for success. "In the 1000th broadcast we now have people who have really all been kissed by success. Because they have achieved something enormous in their field. They could go anywhere," says Meyer-Burckhardt. And that means Günther Jauch, Florian David Fitz, Christoph Maria Herbst, Mario Barth or Carolin Kebekus, all of whom are on the guest list. "But they know that they can expect a certain level of hospitality from us, a certain level of warmth. I think that's why they really enjoy coming."

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