>That’s the problem….


…with living almost next door to the studios of one of the big TV channels – you just can’t avoid bumping into  media stars.

Mrs jb stands next to Gundula Gouda Gause at the cheese counter of the local supermarket, I bump into her TWICE at a Mainz 05 game and Marcel Reif, the sports commentator (who’s thankfully moved to one of the commercial channels – bit of a twerp, if you ask me) used to live in the village.
Oh, and Werner Eckert, an environmental reporter for one of the regional TV channels too. (Although his sister, Reinhilde, who runs the local greengrocer is marginally more famous.)

But who did we bump into today at the excellent Schloss Sörgenloch at lunchtime but Claus Kleber, the news anchor at ZDF and probably the best TV journalist around.

Up he zips in his Series 2 Alfa Spider (between the bobtail that Dustin Hofmann drove in “The Graduate” and the one with the ugly black rubber spoiler that we had) in a fairly celebratory mood on account of the popularity of a 3-part documentary on nuclear proliferation that’s airing this week.

Which doesn’t surprise me one bit, but I had to smile at his answer when asked the other day whether folk will watch the program (with its late-ish time slot) because of him or because of the topic:

“Well”, he said, “I’ve had to accept the painful fact that the name Claus Kleber isn’t that big a draw card”.  

Sad, but true and while millions will sit glued to the screen while some airhead on a commercial channel spouts on self-importantly about nothing, Claus Kleber and his ilk will be analysing and reporting serious news with accuracy and eloquence.
A bit like the 1990s ad – “The Economist – not read by millions of people.”

So I asked him if they’d hit the 10,000 viewer mark last night.

Puzzled look.

Well” I said “you with your false modesty and “no one’s going to stay up late just watch Claus Kleber..”

“Oh” he says ” we actually got 2 million viewers last night. Because of the film. Not because of me”

Yeah right

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