Merel Ek is now a big VI star, but actually wanted a very different job

Merel Ek is now the big rising star of Today Inside, but it would have been close to being in the wings night after night. “I actually wanted to become something completely different.”

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28-year-old Merel Ek has become a famous Dutch person thanks to her performances in Today Inside. The political reporter constantly runs after all kinds of politicians in The Hague, but she would much rather have run after Simba in a lioness costume on the other side of the city, namely in the Circustheater.

Musical star Merel

Merel has dreamed of becoming a musical star for years, she says in the program The Friday Move on BNR. “Oh yes, that’s right. Yes, I would love to, yes, but I can’t sing at all. Not at all. So that was done quickly.”

Her VI colleague Wilfred Genee then: “Hey, but what was it that made you want that so badly?”

Merel: “Yes, I think that’s fantastic. Walking on stage with such exaggerated acting, those songs. I’ve also been to I know how many musicals since I was a kid. I recently went to see Les Misérables in Rotterdam.”

Bad singer

Wilfred wonders how Merel came into contact with musicals in her youth, because she grew up in a meadow somewhere. “You couldn’t go to a musical in Hoogeveen, could you?”

Merel: “Yes, we have a beautiful theater in Gelderland: the Tamboer. There were some really great musicals.”

Wilfred: “Okay, and what was the moment you knew it wasn’t going to work?”

Merel: “The moment when you hear from a lot of people around you whether you want to stop singing at the moment you are singing.”

call of Duty

Merel’s vocal cords are therefore severely unsuitable. Wilfred: “Oh dear, that is painful. And the other thing went well? That dancing, moving, that went really well?”

Merel: “That went reasonably well, the acting went well… But no, the singing killed him.”

What other hobbies does Merel have? She played tennis and hockey for a long time, but she no longer has time for that. “I play games sometimes. I’ll do that. Just a little while to relax. Call of Duty mostly.”

Sunday night

What did Wilfred actually want to become as a child? Soccer player. But: “At the age of 12 I knew what I wanted, because I knew then that I couldn’t play football well enough. Then I knew: I only want one thing, that is to present at 7 o’clock on Sunday evening. And that was the goal from then on,” he says in the podcast Go-getters.

He has always maintained that ambition. “And that makes life very clear, because all my classmates didn’t know what they wanted to become. I was like: yeah, I already know.”

Finally: doesn’t Merel enjoy singing a Lion King song at VI? Or on the radio? “No, I’m not going to sing here like Caroline van der Plas.”