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Talking Germany

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Katja Kraus looks and leaps

Chemistry experiment

When a mechanic repairs a car, a baker bakes bread, or a window-cleaner cleans windows, you know within reason what to expect: a fully-functioning car, a tasty loaf, or clean windows. In some jobs, though, the outcome is perhaps less clear-cut. Especially when the human factor comes into play. You can’t, for instance, just put an interesting person and a practiced presenter into a room and know for sure that the result will be a good interview. These thoughts went through my head in the build-up to the latest edition of Talking Germany. My guest: Katja Kraus. Former international soccer player. First woman ever to become a board member of a club in the men’s Bundesliga. And author.

Chemistry shouldn’t count. But, of course, it does. And as we sat in the make-up suite before the show, I must admit – I had begun to have my doubts. The whole Talking Germany crew had gathered. We were laughing and chatting and I had the feeling that Katja was observing it all very carefully. Observing me, too. ‘Sizing me up’ perhaps. She’d been having her hair done, so she was a little on the periphery of the conversation – holding back.

But then she came across, sat down, and I asked her whether she enjoyed going on talk shows: “That,” she answered, “depends very much on the presenter.” It felt like a challenge. Katja also told me about an earlier television appearance she’d made where, “it all went far too fast. Too much pressure. Too little time to think.” A warning it seemed: operate with caution. My, my: I was getting nervous.

So, were my qualms justified? Or was it all just my imagination? I’ll probably never know the answer to that question for sure. However, yes, I do think that Katja Kraus is the kind of person who looks (very closely) before she leaps. But leap she did: telling us about her dreams, her ambitions, her first love, the conflict with her parents, her hurt and pain, the route she has taken back to herself, and her book.  I’m very glad she took the plunge.


September 9, 2013