When it comes to who will host Eurovision 2020, all eyes have been focused on figures from Dutch music and entertainment. But now sports presenter Herman van der Zandt has entered the orbit as rumours churn about who will host of the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Over the past few months, we’ve seen nearly all Dutch stars with presenting experience lining up at NPO to hear whether they might get the chance. From influencer and fashion expert Anna Nooshin to Dutch language singer and Eurovision commentator Jan Smit — everyone wants to present the biggest music competition in the world.
One name that was rarely mentioned was former TV anchor Herman van der Zandt, who hadn’t publicly commented on whether he wanted to host the event, which will be broadcast not only in The Netherlands but across Europe, Australia and the United States (via Netflix).
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Dutch media have sensationalised the news that Cornald won’t be hosting with several newspapers stating that he was “rejected” by Dutch broadcaster NPO. Cornald says this is not the case and has hit back on social media. “Oh dear — there are always these kinds of headlines after some selective reporting,” he tweeted. “I have stated myself that I would prefer to continue providing commentary during ESC, partly because this gives me more freedom and space. The #Eurovision organization has not yet decided on who is going to host.” #esc2020 #roadtorotterdam #eurovision #eurovision2020 #esc2020
Herman’s modesty seemed to have paid off. During the summer reports began to emerge that he had been approached by NPO. Recently, a report by De Telegraaf suggested that Herman and his fellow former news presenter Dionne Stax were seen as NPO’s favourites.
The sports presenter has finally revealed — to radio station RadioVeronica — that he and Dionne are indeed in talks with the public broadcaster.
“Yeah, well yeah, I have to think about whether I would like it. [We] are talking about it, but we will all see.”
Who is Herman van der Zandt?
With his modesty and quick wit, Herman van der Zandt is one of the finest faces within the news department of NPO. First known as the anchor of the country’s main current affairs programme, NOS Journaal, Herman now serves as a sports presenter for NOS Studio Sport. Over the past few years, he presented a live talk show from France in lieu of the Tour de France as well as quiz programme Met het mes op tafel. He knows that being a presenter on television is not an easy job: he’s encountered technical errors and even an attempt to hijack his news broadcast. But he typically stayed cool as a cucumber.
While hosting these shows show and presenting the news, he often got the label of being rather serious, which would make him an odd choice for such a lively show as Eurovision. But during one of the opening episodes of Mes het mes op tafel this season, he proved otherwise by rapping “Walk This Way” by Run DMC and Aerosmith. The television segment went viral on Twitter and was quickly dubbed “the best television moment of the year”.
— Ruben van Doorn (@Oase) October 7, 2019
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Picture: Hans Vink, Omroep MAX