Monday, 13 October 2008

Rejection is In

Always one to upstage an event, Germany's most revered literary critic, Marcel Reich-Ranicki, has gone and joined the ranks of award-rejecters.

He was due to be given a lifetime award for services to the television industry, at the German equivalent to the Emmys. But first of all they kept him waiting on a hard chair in the front row for three hours, and then they gave most of the other awards to shows he didn't approve of. Mostly celebrity chefs.

When he was finally allowed to board the stage and graciously accept the award, he got a standing ovation, visibly embarrassed. "I don't want to insult anybody, but I do not accept this prize... I didn't know what was expecting me, I don't belong here. If the award had included money, I'd have given the money back. But it doesn't, all I can do is cast this object away from me that's been awarded to various people tonight. I can't accept it, and I think it's terrible that I had to sit through this for several hours..."

He got a round of applause for praising the ARTE channel, slagged off 3Sat, slagged off the "rubbish" they'd seen tonight. The presenter rushed onto the stage, offering him his own show about quality programming. He accepted that, wagging his schoolmaster finger in a characteristic gesture to warn that it probably wouldn't make any difference. Finished off with an over-long anecdote about a Russian composer, hugged the presenter and offered him the familiar "Du" form of address. Cue fanfare and another standing ovation.

You can watch all the fun here - I love the audience shots as the stars and starlets realise what the guy is actually saying. Now that's entertainment. Apparently, he did then take the glass obelisk home with him - he didn't want to appear impolite. More in the Guardian.

No comments: