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In the ring with Utz Claassen

Or: Truth be told: it was fun!

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He’s confrontational. A no holds barred kind of debater. Not, he would have it, like the dull majority of people in the business world: “Companies,” he fumes, almost as soon as we’ve met, “are dominated by conformists – people who know how to play the game and that’s it. They don’t dare to be themselves; don’t dare to express themselves.” And it’s the same treatment for the politicians: “They lie! They lie! They won’t face the truth, they won’t tell the truth.” But, I wonder, what is the truth? Utz Claassen – my latest guest on Talking Germany – thinks he knows. And that is, perhaps, the problem.

Date

April 4, 2014

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4 from 250

four things I have learnt in the long run

The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky once famously wrote that, “The best definition of man is: a being that goes on two legs and is ungrateful.” And I have in my life surely had my fair share of moments of ingratitude. But, in one way at least, I have learnt to be grateful. After all, so often when I open my daily newspaper, I’m delighted to spot the faces of former Talking Germany guests and I’m reminded of how fortunate I am to have encountered all these people and to have been given fascinating insights into who they are and how they tick. We’ve now reached the proud total of 250 guests and I am, most of all, grateful to them for sharing themselves with me and, above all, with our viewers.

Date

November 18, 2013

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Peter Craven’s Movie Pick

One movie? Impossible. Well, maybe not. I’d like to propose a film that many people might not even have heard of. A poetic masterpiece about a boy very similar to the one I once was. He, though, had little luck. I, a lot. The movie is Kes. Released in 1969, it is an early masterpiece by Ken Loach.

A small tip: if you haven’t seen the film and would like to, make sure you have subtitles!

Date

November 18, 2013

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Talking education with Stefan Willich

Or: living in two worlds

I like interfaces.” Well, that’s an understatement. It comes from Stefan Willich. He’s a remarkable man, who’s been very successful in two different fields: medicine and music. And he’s managed to draw his two passions together with the creation of the World Doctors Orchestra. “I find it productive to bring things together,” he says, with another display of understatement. Would he call himself an idealist? “No, no,” he protests, “I’m a hard-nosed realist, who likes developing things that are new.”

Date

May 3, 2013

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Stefan Willich’s Movie Pick

Stefan Willich has two choices for his FMOAT. First up, like so many others, he’s gone for a Stanley Kubrick movie: A Clockwork Orange. His other pick is a bit of a surprise, but very interesting: Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900. Starring Donald Sutherland, Gérard Depardieu and Robert de Niro.

Date

May 3, 2013

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