In the request was also the word fanciable. I guess I have ignored that bit, as it is difficult enough to get a top 5 anyway. Another factor is the word media. I could choose some obscure radio presenter, but decided to stick to the pool of well known Dutch celebs. It has become rather a long story, I think a lj-cut is appropriate.
1. Boudewijn Buch
Just recently Dutch television started with the rerun of the highlights from his television career. Buch, an author, started with a show about books. His best shows were when he travelled everywhere around the world to follow one of his obsessions. He has many, Goethe, Islands, Rolling Stones, Dodo’s, Libraries and rock and roll to name but a few of them. His interview with the mother of Buddy Holly brought me to tears, him wandering through the dungeons of the library of congress made me jealous, him setting foot on the isle of Filfla, near Malta, as the first human being for 20 years was a television highlight.
His enthusiasm worked miracles, people kept watching, even though they didn’t care at all about the subject. Boudewijn Buch died in 2002. Television has become duller without him.
2. Mart Smeets
More than just a journalist, Smeets has become the anchorman of Dutch sports programmes since quite a while. A former Basketball national team player, I consider him an example, as we seem to think completely alike about most sports. Best sports to watch: Baseball, best sports to follow on television: Cycling. So Smeets presents the main sports show on Sunday night, but also does go to France to follow the Tour since over 30 years. He does an improvised running commentary on the NBA finals and the World Series, 2 minutes highlights in this country. By many he is considered arrogant, I can imagine that, though I feel that if you’re good, there is nothing wrong with self confidence. Since a decade he started publishing books, mostly assembled columns, but also a few novels. Workaholic as he is, he also has a weekly music programme on the radio, with mostly obscure Americana and quality golden oldies.
3. Astrid Joosten
Trying to make this list, I was thinking who I would consider my favourite woman on screen.
I ended up with Astrid Joosten. Not because I’m a big fan, not because I’m in love with her, but because of the combination of what she stands for. A decade my senior, she doesn’t look her age, so she certainly is a pleasure to watch. She is clever, not a bad interviewer, has a sense of humour and presents some quiz shows that I watch when I’m at home, though never fanatically, I couldn’t care if I missed them. I’m not sure why she is in my top 5, but it didn’t feel right to pick five men, so Astrid is welcome.
her own site
4. Jan Mulder
Mulder is an outsider in the television world. A former professional football (soccer for some) player, he even made the Dutch team, nowadays more famous for his writing, he started as a pundit on Barend en van Dorp during World Cup 98. The talk show continued back home and switched from sports only to politics, news and sports. Mulder remained as the expert. He is the allround expert, mainly know for his ability to provoke guests. Never short of an opinion, ignoring the protocol of an interview, he is feared for his interruptions and attacks of anyone who has a different opinion. Top managers need to show their social side, politicians should have ideals apart from power or money and football is a game that was made to entertain the public, hence everybody needs to attack regardless. Mulder is a romantic and shows passion in a world that is programmed from the first to last second.
the author Mulder
the football player
5. Paul de Leeuw
Started his career in theaters as a comedian. Switched via radio to television. He soon became a gay icon. Not because he is openly gay, there are plenty more famous Dutch tv-celebs who are, but because de Leeuw actually uses it as a conversation piece, as an interview technique, as a way of getting a laugh, often at the expense of himself. But he is also feared as a ruthless interviewer, attacking guests in all sort of different manners, mostly unpredictable for his guest, for the audience, even for the ones working at his shows. De Leeuw stops when he’s not sure if things are still challenging, regardless of the ratings that say that he should go on. A year later he returns with a different format, though nobody has a clue what he is trying to do. Apart from a reputation of taking the piss out of others, he is a singer of some really camp songs and the one who made Aids known to the Dutch by inviting a friend with that disease on a show. He is someone who dares to be vulnerable in front of a camera. Even though I don’t care much of what he has done lately (a mock real life soap), I consider him one of the all time greats in my country.
his own site
(You asked for it, a series I started to give anyone the opportunity to tell me what to write. You want to tell me as well: leave a comment or mail me (email in user info). This was part 2, one more in line at the moment.)