German book lovers! Make like the Stones and throw your telly out the window! For Germany's answer to Richard 'n' Judy, Elke Heidenreich, is now doing her show Lesen! on the internet.
I have to admit I'd never watched it while it was on telly. Tucked away on ZDF late at night once every two months, it wasn't exactly ever at the forefront of my mind. But now I've seen it on the web and it's utterly charming. There she is, all auntified and bespectacled, sitting in a pub with snow driving past the windows behind her. And she's funny. And she clearly loves books in a very unpretentious way. And... she invited the very attractive ex-punk Campino on the show, who raves about William Goldman's The Princess Bride. And who seems to be Heidenreich's nephew.
La Heidenreich, once crowned the most influential German-speaking woman, got chucked off the telly for being rude about all the other programmes after Marcel Reich-Ranicki got the ball rolling by refusing his TV award. "It's an embarrassment to be working for a channel like this at all. Why not just chuck me out right now, I'm fed up with fighting anyway," she wrote in the FAZ. So they did. And now she's gone and done the coolest thing and moved onto the rather excellent website litColony (lots and lots of other good stuff to explore here, by the way), which seems to be part of Cologne's literary festival litCologne. Which, judging by the website, is pretty dang good too. If only Cologne wasn't so incredibly far away from Berlin...
*Actually, don't. Because you'd miss Denis Scheck in Druckfrisch.