Serious Accident during Europe’s biggest TV Live Show – “Wetten Dass” aborted!

After a serious accident during Europe’s most widley watched TV live prime time show called “Wetten Dass”, the entertainer and presenter Thomas Gottschalk decided to not continue the show. This is the first time in the over 26 year history of the show, that such a critical accident happened during the show. The prime time game show is also broadcasted in Austria (ORF) and Switzerland (SFDRS). All three networks have changed their Saturday night program and are just showing alternative programming. Celebrity Justin Bieber asked his fans to pray for the candidate via twitterThe english translation of the show is “Bet it” or “Want to bet”. During every show celebrities have to bet the outcome of games, which are just presented by “normal” guests. During the first game candidate and student Samuel Koch bet, that he can jump over cars, which are driving in his way with a somersault. He had some metallic clips beneath his shoes – so called scroll springs or jump shoes.

Picture from the rehearsals yesterday:

He succesfully jumped over the first car. With the second he had already a problem during the first attempt, but managed the third one. During the fourth attempt he was hit by the car, falling over it and then hitting the ground with his face. The car was driven by his father …! The whole misscarried jump was shown live during the show, but ZDF directly decided to only show audience, when they saw, that the body was not moving any more and doctors rushed on the stage.

After a long of confusion and some kind of panic amongst presenters, crew and audience, show presenter Thomas Gottschalk said, that he needs a decision from his director (German well known Frank Hof), since he did not get any positive sign from the doctors. The director then asked Gottschalk to hand over to Mainz (ZDF headquarter), where they had an emgergency tape with live music acts of previous shows.

After around 30 minutes showing only a tape, they switched back live to Duesseldorf, where Thomas Gottschalk said, that the candidate can feel his legs and that he also can speak. However he does not see any chance to continue the show, as it is usually an entertainment show and should be fun. “Nobody can pretend to be jolly after witnessing the accident”, Gottschalk said. He appologized and asked the audience to understand how hard it is for him as an entertainer to stop the show for the first time in his career. Reading the twitter news, which just spreat from Duesseldorf, this decision was also supported and agreed by the various celebrities.

The TV show is the biggest platform for music acts in Europe. Tonights planned live appearances would have included “Take That” with Robbie Williams, Sher, Justin Bieber and Phil Collins. Also in Duesseldorf is Cameron Diaz, who was planned as a talk guest for the show.

Please join me in keeping the fingers crossed for the candidate who just was so badly injured during the first game act around 8:35 pm CET. (Show started at 8:15 pm CET) In my opinion the network ZDF did the right decision to cancel the show for now. Might be that they want to re-start it, as soon as they will get positive signals out of the hospital. My respect for that strong decision! I will not show, neither a link to any video nor any picture material here, until we do get any positive news about the condition of Samuel Koch.



3pm CET News from The press conference Artificial coma ,surgery Surgery already last Night Not Life threatening

12:15 pm CET: Since most of Germany’s Sunday newspapers reported about yesterday’s accident on their front pages even with pictures, there is an intensive discussion about the ongoing competition on TV especially around the Saturday evening prime time shows. “Wetten Dass” was airing against the “Supertalent”. “Supertalent” is shown on RTL the biggest private TV network in Germany and biggest competitor of the public channels ARD and ZDF especially when it comes to the young audience. The show is a copy of “Britain got talent” created by Simon Cowell airing on ITV1 in the UK. In the US the show is known as “America’s got talent”

12:00 pm/ noon CET: Still no update regarding the health conditions of Samuel Koch. He is still in the intensive care unit at a Duesseldorf hospital. There will be a press conference by the Duesseldorf hospital at 3 pm CET, where more news is expected.


10:30 pm CET: Just in: Offical web-post with video link by network ZDF to the statement of presenter Thomas Gottschalk (German only)

Still no news about the health conditions of Samuel Koch.

10:50 pm CET: During the main evening news ZDF linked live to Thomas Gottschalk in Duesseldorf. However the presenter of the show could not really provide any new update about Koch’s condition. Still what we know is, he can speak, his parents are with him. Unfortunatelly not more.

12:26 am CET: Next update is expected to being communicated on ZDF around 12:35 am CET

12:35 am CET: ZDF is just reporting again about the accident. A doctor from the Uniklinik Duesseldorf was saying in the short clip, that Koch is just beeing operated. No further information, the Duesseldorf hospital will give more information about Koch’s condition after the surgery by tomorrow morning during a press conference.

12:39 am CET: I will close the blog now and post another update tomorrow morning after the press conference

12:54 am CET:
English news from German Press Agency:

Accident on live television mars popular German game show

Berlin – A performer using power stilts stumbled and injured himself in front of millions of viewers Saturday in three European nations, forcing the live TV variety show to be called off.
The accident marred Wetten, dass…? (I’ll bet that…), the most popular Saturday night show in the German-speaking part of Europe.
The family-oriented show, a German television staple for decades, features members of the public who offer to perform unlikely feats of skill for a panel of celebrities who must predict whether the feat will succeed and submit to a humorous penalty if they guess wrong.
Samuel, 23, had offered to leap over five oncoming cars in the studio with spring-powered stilts, which enable him to jump like a kangaroo. His first jump succeeded, he balked at the second and he failed to clear the third car, crashing on his face and lying prone.
The cameras swung away, showing only the dismayed studio audience in the western German city of Dusseldorf, while medics hurried to his aid. The show was also being aired in Austria and Switzerland.
The broadcasters then showed pop music videos for half an hour. Presenter Thomas Gottschalk finally returned to the screen and announced he was calling off the two and a half hour show for the first time since he had began hosting it in 1987.
He said Samuel was conscious and in hospital.
‘This is the first time in my career that the absolutely worst thing has happened. I’m utterly sorry,’ Gottschalk said, ashen-faced.
Announcing that the episode was being abandoned, he said it would be impossible to smile and chat while fearing Samuel might end up paralysed.
‘We can’t act light hearted when we’re not light-hearted,’ said Gottschalk, who has also played minor roles in Hollywood movies.
Samuel wore a helmet as he jumped. The car he failed to clear was driven by his father.
The jumping devices, which attach to the feet, are also known as powerbocks after their German inventor, Alexander Boeck.



Filed under News, TV Production

34 responses to “Serious Accident during Europe’s biggest TV Live Show – “Wetten Dass” aborted!

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Serious Accident during Europe’s biggest TV Live Show – “Wetten Dass” just cancelled! | The Daily Herold --

  2. I saw this happen live on television. I thought he broke his neck!

  3. Anna

    Thank you so muchh for this detailed report!
    Iam from germany an i saw this terrible accident!!!!
    I am just listening to the german news and they still can not say, whats wrong with Samuel. But he ist still alive and i hope, that he is going to get well as soon as possible. So thank you again for your statement.

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  10. alfred hancock

    HAHA!! well what do you expect from a show that does stupid stunts like this, i found this highly entertaining

  11. s

    You play with matches, you get burned

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  16. Kelli

    How are people surprised by this? I am surprised more of these accidents don’t happen?! Yes, sad for the man that got hurt, but totally whacked that people are in shock and are saying, “How did this happen”.

  17. Stevie

    Good going “daily herold” on translating “Wedden Dass”. It’s not “bet it” you dolts, it’s “you wanna bet that ….” it’s supposed to be open ended like “you wanna bet that that guy can do this or that”. Maybe you should hire people who can at least speak basic languages.

    • Hi stevie,

      Thanks for reading my blog and for your comment. Good that you corrected your German miss-spelling…

      The name is ‘bet it’, because that was the title of the show, when they tried to pitch it to US networks. Another pitch was naming it ‘wanna bet’. That is why I am using this as a translation instead of the proper German – English translation. Hope this helps to understand.

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  23. Geeze! Poor guy. Imy thoughts and prayers go out to him.

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  26. I’m writing from Turkey. I like your writings.
    Love learning about this…gives me inspiration when I hit walls and plateaus…sometimes I have to let go and not try to control everything

  27. This is a very nice post. Keep up the good work so that we all can stay up to date. Best regards.

  28. Hellow.. Nice Too Met You..

  29. Looks like you are an expert in this field, you got some great points there, but you’ll want to add a facebook button to your blog. I just bookmarked this article, although I had to complete it manually. Simply my $.02 🙂

    – Daniel

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  31. Hello. Great occupation. I didn’t anticipate this on the Wednesday. This is really a terrific story. Thanks!

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