Popular TV host to quit after guest paralyzed in live stunt | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 13.02.2011
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Popular TV host to quit after guest paralyzed in live stunt

Thomas Gottschalk, the long-time host of the German TV show "Wetten, dass…?" ("Wanna bet?"), has announced he will retire. He said the show has been under a shadow since a contestant was paralyzed during a live stunt.

Host Thomas Gottschalk

Gottschalk says he can no longer do the show

Thomas Gottschalk announced his retirement on Saturday from the popular German TV show "Wetten, dass…?" ("Wanna bet?"), saying he could not continue as if nothing had happened after a contestant was left paralyzed in an on-air accident.

Gottschalk, 60, has hosted the show - the most popular family program in the Germany - for 24 years. The format, where celebrity guests bet on whether ordinary people can achieve unusual and difficult tasks, has proven an enduring one.

Koch receives medical care after his fall

Koch was injured on live television

But in December of last year, 23-year-old Samuel Koch attempted to jump over five oncoming cars using spring-powered stilts. He was struck by the fourth car, which left him lying face-down and motionless on the studio stage. He is now paralyzed due to the damage to his spinal cord and neck vertebrae.

Speaking on the 193rd episode of the program on Saturday night, Gottschalk said his hopes that Koch would quickly recover had not been realized and that there was a shadow over the show that he could not get past.

Author: Holly Fox (dapd, dpa)
Editor: Kyle James

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