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Germany’s beloved television host Dieter Thomas Heck (80) passes away

Germany’s most beloved show master Dieter Thomas Heck has passed away. The television legend also tried to represent his country back in 1961. He was aged 80 years old.

Starting as a singer

Dieter Thomas Heck started his career back in 1959. Aged 21 at the time, the singer had overcome a war trauma by following singing lessons. After a bomb attack in 1942, he began to stutter. He only managed to end the stuttering by singing.

In 1959, he appeared in a televised talent show. To start his singing career, he entered Germany’s national final for Eurovision in 1961. He and his song Was tut man alles nicht aus Liebe? didn’t manage to finish top three. The eventual winner was the then legendary Lale Andersen, someone the young Dieter Thomas Heck couldn’t beat.

Success as TV host

After his start in music, he moved on to becoming a TV and radio host. His radio career focused on schlager music. In a time where such music wasn’t commonly available on radio, he stood out. ZDF offered him a job as host of ZDF Hitparade.

He went on to host the show for fifteen years. As a result, he became one of Germany’s most famous presenters. His reputation included staying with shows for quite a while. He hosted Die Pyramide for sixteen years, as well as Goldene Stimmgabel between 1981 and 2007, a show he created himself.

In that year, Heck decided to retire, aged 70. He went on to publish his autobiography in 2011. After his retirement, he received numerous awards. This included a Lifetime Echo for services to the German music scene. Last year, Dieter Thomas Heck was honoured with a Goldene Kamera lifetime achievement award.

The thoughts of the entire ESCXTRA.com Team are with Dieter Thomas Heck’s friends and family in these difficult times.

Nick van Lith

I'm one of the founding members of ESCXTRA.com. Eleven years after the start, I'm proud to say that I am now the Editor-in-Chief of this wonderful website. When I'm not doing Eurovision stuff, you should be able to find me teaching German to kids... And cheering on everything and everyone Greek, pretty much. Pame Ellada!

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