Ilja Richter left the disco, but the disco never left him. In addition to “Beat Club” and “ZDF Hitparade”, it was the defining show of the early evening in the 1970s. From 1971 to 1982 Richter hosted this bizarre rendezvous of musicians from all over the world. In the “disco” Slade and Abba, Peter Maffay and Udo Jürgens, Smokie and the Bay City Rollers performed, all announced by the Schlaks in suit and bow tie from the acrylic pulpit.

    Ilja Richter was 18 when the program (which emerged from “4-3-2-1 Hot & Sweet”, also moderated by him) began on ZDF. By then he was already a veteran of the theater and television. At the age of eight he was hired by RIAS for a radio play by Ephraim Kishon and then spoke in 60 other radio productions. In 1961 he had his first role at the Berlin Renaissance Theater, two years later he appeared in the musical “Annie Get Your Gun” at the Theater des Westens. In 1966 he played and sang alongside Vicco Torriani in the “Weißes Rössl”.

    Moderator Ilja Richter, 1977. (Photo by kpa/Arthur Grimm/United Archives via Getty Images)

    Ilja Richter – a boy disguised as an adult

    Perhaps that is where Richter’s enthusiasm for the operetta came from. His sung and danced corruptions from the off of the “disco”, the jokes and puns he played were incredibly silly, but not simple. The wrought dialogue banter was often beyond the capabilities of younger viewers. and the spectators were young. The “disco” was one of the few distinguishing features of the young people: the grandparents watched the “Blauer Bock”, the parents “One will win”, the children “disco”, and everyone watched Wim Thoelke’s “Großen Preis” and Hans Rosenthal’s “Dalli -Dalli”.

    Ilja Richter was a funny outsider, the only young person who didn’t wear jeans, a boy dressed up as an adult who made slapstick in his sketches with older showbiz greats. Ilja was the well-bred one who was a sly old man. And for a few years he secretly dated the most beautiful singer on his show, Marianne Rosenberg, with whom, of course, we were all in love. Richter’s famous exclamation “Lights off, spot on!” was the signal for the wonderful bizarreness of pop music and hits on every show. Really serious and hard rock bands never performed in the “disco”. And these moped rockers with the brush in their back pocket didn’t watch “disco”, they later watched “Rockpop in Concert”.

    Ilya Richter, 1977.

    Ilja Richter, born in Berlin-Karlshorst in 1952, was always a demanding, reserved emcee. Another child prodigy, Michael Schanze, was the popular Ranschmeißer. Ilja, son of an actress who ran a boarding house in Berlin, was the somewhat quirky jester at the family celebration. After the end of the “disco” he played theater and directed, he was seen in Berlin and Hamburg productions, at readings and in TV films. He wrote books; “Portraits of People Who Shaped Me” has just been published.

    In addition, Ilja Richter is the greatest anyway, because he played in “Aunt Trude from Buxtehude”.

    United Archives United Archives via Getty Images

    United Archives United Archives via Getty Images

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