After the content and viewing figures flop of Hotel Hollandia, will Paul de Leeuw ever get a major personality show on the Saturday evening of NPO 1? “That’s over now.”
It’s hard to imagine these days, but Paul de Leeuw has been a top scorer on television for years. Week in week out, he was the big winner on Saturday evenings with programs such as Mooi Weer De Leeuw. Until the first episode of the Linda de Mol show Ik Hou Van Holland was shown in 2008.
Linda fervently hoped that she would manage to beat Paul one day: “I will really go crazy if we have one more viewer than Paul de Leeuw.” Just a year later she was able to hang up the garlands and Paul was increasingly forgotten. Actually, Paul’s great success stopped when Ik Hou Van Holland started.
Since then, Paul’s career has been a struggle. He was allowed to try again this season on the Saturday evening of NPO 1, but Hotel Hollandia was a terrible failure. “I was supposed to be part of the program and suddenly I had to pull or carry the program,” he now responds The Lion Loots On.
Paul initially thought that his conversations would only form a small part of the show, he says in his own podcast. Ultimately, however, the general public simply saw Hotel Hollandia as another big Paul de Leeuw show. “I thought that was very intense. Hotel Hollandia, yes.”
Because in the eyes of the public it depended very much on Paul, he gradually took on a more prominent role in the program. “We ended up doing a nice two or three episodes that were more accurate than the first episode, but it didn’t feel right, no.”
‘It is over’
Can he continue with these types of personality shows? No, he thinks himself. “I also know that it is over. I’m really looking forward to the Sinterklaas show and the five shows with intellectual disabilities that I will be making on Saturday evening. I really enjoy doing that. I continue to enjoy making TV as a profession.”
He continues: “When people say: ‘You are too old, you have to stop…’ Yes, I also said: you should no longer want a Paul de Leeuw show on Saturday evening, because that no longer works, but it does on the edges of the night. If you start making it late at night and not at half past nine at night and suddenly it became that way. Then the pressure is great.”
Yet Paul does not look back on this year with bad feelings. “It sounds very strange, but if things aren’t going well at all, it’s nice to work hard on it. The team I worked with was fantastic. Young too. I would love to work with them again.”