Germany's most-watched TV show off air after accident

5th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Germany's most popular TV show was abruptly pulled off air for the first time in its 29-year history on Saturday night after a contestant was seriously injured as millions of people watched live.

"Wetten, dass...?", which roughly translates as "You want to bet?", sees members of the public attempt outrageous stunts, interspersed with celebrity chat, and regularly attracts some 10 million viewers.

But Samuel Koch's attempt to leap lengthways over a moving car wearing spring-loaded stilts went horribly wrong, and the 23-year-old was knocked unconscious after he fell.

The show was abandoned as Koch was rushed to hospital where he regained consciousness and was able to speak, although the extent of his injuries was not known on Sunday morning.

Doctors were due to give an update later in the day.

The accident was so calamitous that the show's host, Thomas Gottschalk, was interviewed live on the late news on national television, defending the decision to let Koch attempt his stunt.

"In 29 years we have had lots of dangerous bets, young people climbing up walls and one young man who jumped over a house on a skateboard, and the worst we have ever had is a broken leg," a solemn Gottschalk said.

"I ate with the young man (Koch) and I was reassured to see how much he was looking forward to the show, how motivated he was ... I am so sorry that it ended like this."

© 2010 AFP

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