Berlin.

Celebrities on TV can still be successful for so many years – most of them are etched in the memory of the viewer with a very specific moment. Jan Hofer probably experienced such a moment on December 14, 2020 around 8:15 p.m. in the “Tagesschau”.

His last evening as chief spokesperson. “But for me today is the last time: good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Do well,” the then 68-year-old told nearly 15 million viewers. Then he took off his red tie with a smile. What else can come after such a departure? Many. Hofer proved it. The Berliner celebrates his 70th birthday on January 31 as an RTL presenter.

There is a little secret about the birthday. Some people wonder if Hofer will really be 70. Various statements have been circulating in the media for years. Sometimes he was born in 1950, sometimes in 1951, sometimes in 1952. However, the date of January 31 has never been disputed. When the German Press Agency (dpa) asked about this shortly before the legendary appearance of the “Tagesschau”, Hofer answered clearly: 1952.

Big hit

It is undeniable that RTL has pulled off a coup. With Hofer, the broadcaster won one of Germany’s most famous television faces. Not only because of the 16 years spent as chief spokesman of the “Tagesschau”. After all, he was also the host of MDR’s ‘Riverboat’ talk show for 21 years until 2012. He is now a figurehead of the new Late News ‘RTL Direct’.

To date, Hofer has not handed over the tie. “Yes, so far I’ve been there and I feel quite comfortable without a tie,” he recently said in an interview with dpa. “However, I don’t see it as dogma, maybe I’ll reconsider it.”

Changing jobs from announcer to news anchor was no small feat for him. “It’s true that at the beginning I had to get used to something. New format, new role, new team, new station – it was exciting, but also challenging,” Hofer told dpa. But his success proves him right. “We managed to establish a new evening news program in just four months.”

Silent style is well received

Viewership of the 10:15 p.m. show has grown significantly over the months. While it was 1.87 million when it debuted in August, it was 3.31 million last Monday (January 24). Hofer’s reserved and calm manner is extremely well received by his fans.

Which contributes significantly to his success: Hofer is considered accessible. The father of four and classic car enthusiast has become a gossip favorite over the years.

Millions of viewers were scared in March 2019 when Hofer suffered dizziness in the middle of the “Tagesschau”. Countless wishes for recovery then reached its issuer until the green light. In 2021, he dares to dance in the RTL show “Let’s Dance”. There Hofer was expelled with the slow waltz with the worst score from the jury. But still: he had reached the seventh round. (dpa)