There was a time, when one of Germany’s most interesting tv shows was one about books. The show was called „The Literary Quartet“ („Das literarische Quartett“) and its impressario was Marcel Reich-Ranicki, allegedly the most important contemporary critic of German literature (wikipedia entry in English).

Yesterday, he attended the the German television awards („Deutscher Fernsehpreis“), where he was supposed to be honored for his livetime achievements. But then, on stage, he refused to accept the award because of (my translation) all the bollocks we have seen here today.“

The apparently shocked presenter, Thomas Gottschalk, offered Reich-Ranicki a programme in which he could talk to the heads of German broadcasters about the quality of their programmes, which seemed to placate the laureate and apparently led him to later accept the price out of politeness.

Stefan Niggemeier, a media journalist, has more about this (in German) and notices that Reich-Ranicki probably had a point that goes beyond the quality of television programmes – MRR will Fernsehquatschpreis nicht.