"Honestly I don’t do anything": Frank Plasberg talks about his retirement plans

“Honestly: I don’t do anything”
Frank Plasberg talks about his retirement plans

Frank Plasberg moderated “Hart aber fair” for 22 years and 750 editions. On Monday evening, however, it’s over. The 65-year-old leads through his last show. Now he’s actually planning to retire – even if he can’t really get used to the word “pensioner” yet.

“Today is a nice day for me,” said Frank Plasberg when he moderated his final handover to the “daily topics” on Monday evening. He had previously led 75 minutes through the ARD talk show “Hart aber fair” for the last time. Topic: the controversial World Cup in Qatar.

In fact, after 750 episodes of the show he’s helmed over the past 22 years, the 65-year-old seems looking forward to retirement. In an interview with the magazine “Stern” In any case, he denies that he may already be setting his sights on a new task. “Everyone says that: You definitely have offers from other stations, come on now, be honest. Honestly: I’m not doing anything!” Plasberg asserts.

Although he still enjoyed the moderation of “Hart aber fair”, he wanted to stop when it was most beautiful, explains the talk show host and adds: “You have to find the right time. I said to myself a year ago: It will be Time. You’re almost 65 years old now. Go while your great team and ARD are still sad and the quota is right. Stop self-determined before everyone whispers: When will the old bastard finally leave?”

“What It’s Like When Nothing Is”

Apparently, Plasberg does not have any concrete plans for the time that lies ahead of him. “I’ll see what it’s like when nothing’s wrong. I’ve been working since I was 16. Now I’ll just go home and see what happens,” he explains. Although he is not afraid of a possible emptiness, he does have respect: “Soon I won’t be important anymore. Inbox empty. Nobody calls. There’s also a risk of falling. But being important is not a life’s work.”

But Plasberg has at least one thing in mind: He wants to take his boat along the Rhine. “I have a 90-year-old canal boat. It’s 15 meters long and weighs almost 14 tons. My ‘sweetie’, as I affectionately like to call it. I use it to navigate very slowly on the river at seven and a half kilometers an hour. That decelerates,” he explains.

In the meantime, he has also convinced his wife Anne Gesthuysen of his hobby. “I just handed her the rudder on a trip and said: Now put it on. Then she got her boat license. You just have to arouse Anne’s ambition,” says Plasberg, referring to the writer, with whom he has been married for ten years and has a son born in 2011. The ex-moderator is convinced that he could now be at home all the time, not frightening his wife: “She seems relaxed. She just said that she doesn’t want to gain weight because I threatened to cook.”

“It was an impact”

The health setback he experienced in 2020 may also have contributed to Plasberg’s decision to end his TV career. At that time he was struggling with a temporary failure of his vestibular system. “It shook me deeply. It happened in the middle of a show. I realized that something was wrong. There was this rotary swindle. But somehow I continued to moderate and then suppressed it. Oh, it will be again. Four days later it happened really bad at home. The world and I – that didn’t go together anymore,” he recalls in the “Stern” interview.

In the meantime, everything is fine again – “but it was an impact,” admits Plasberg. “For the first time, I felt afraid that I might not be able to be who I really like to be. It really does something to you.”

Despite all the joy of retirement, Plasberg still struggles with one thing: “Retiree is a word that I still have to get used to. The seniors’ menu is already lurking in the restaurant,” he explains ironically. He prefers to describe himself as a “discoverer”. “I’m discovering what it’s like not having to do anything. At least nothing with television.”

Plasberg describes his successor on “Hart aber fair”, previously known as ntv talker Louis Klamroth, as “the right man for the job”. And for several reasons: “He knew more about us than we do. He also looks better than me, is cooler than I was at the beginning, and he has more hair.”

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