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Sonya Kraus and Thomas Hermanns pose in the “Wheel of Fortune” studio. © Bernd-Michael Maurer/RTLzwei/dpa

You might have guessed it: After television has revived several old shows, the good old “wheel of fortune” is now back on the screen. The new moderation duo promises “glamour”.

Cologne – When Thomas Hermanns talks about the traps and processes on the famous wall of letters in the “Wheel of Fortune” studio, he sometimes sounds like an explosive ordnance clearance expert talking about tricky bomb disposal. If everything goes according to plan, then he doesn’t even notice it. But alas if not!

“Where do you start to turn? From where do you return to the original position? From where do you march?” Hermanns lists the constellations that are problematic. All of that has to be taken into account. Worst case: “If you suddenly stop at the word “Iserlohn” and you can’t find the “O”, it is extremely confusing for the candidates and the spectators”.

Taken out of the moth box

Thomas Hermanns knows what he is talking about because he has solved it. Together with Sonya Kraus (49), the 59-year-old forms the new moderation duo that is supposed to roll the traditional “Ferris wheel” out of the TV moth box and back onto the screen.

RTLzwei has issued this lens. Starting this Thursday (January 26, 8:15 p.m.), the station will be broadcasting a new edition of “La rueda de la fortuna” during prime time. More episodes are planned, but the dates have not been set yet. Again, the challenge is for the candidates to guess words and terms. They spin the prize amount on the “Wheel of Fortune”. The show is based on the original American “Wheel of Fortune” and has been exported to many other countries.

And a special feature is that Hermanns, as a man, does not talk about driving like someone who does not have a driver’s license when he talks about the wall of letters. In earlier versions, there was still a fixed cast, a mostly mute woman who flipped letters and had to go through life with the 1950s term “letter fairy.” This strange connection between gender and function has now been abolished. Hermanns and Kraus should take turns. Sometimes he spins cards and she moderates the candidates in the wheel, sometimes it’s the other way around. A bit of emancipation, like a game show variant, if you will.

“I asked the licensee: apart from me, there was probably only one man who had ever worked on the wall, that was in Brazil,” says Hermanns. But he flipped the lyrics topless and with a six pack. He couldn’t offer that. However, Kraus is happy with the division of labor. “I spent almost 1,000 streams on this wall. Actually, it would have been a bit bumming for me to do it again,” he said.

Sonya Kraus once inherited Maren Gilzer

Kraus is actually something of the personal link to previous variants. He inherited Maren Gilzer, who was part of the original team when the format went on the air on Saturday the 1st of 1988. The moderators of this first edition -which still determines the formative images in the minds of those who were there- were the likeable Peter Bond and Frederic Meisner, mythical figures of the capitalism television of the 90s.

In 1998, the show switched to Kabel Eins (and Sonya Kraus joined), where it continued until 2002. It then got carried away with the quiz boom of the time. Later there were new temporary editions on 9Live and RTLplus (today RTLup). However, these have not left major traces in the collective memory.

Ride the retro wave

So now a new attempt, which of course has something to do with the current retro wave, which has already brought old formats like “Go to the end!” and “The price is hot.”

Will the “Wheel of Fortune” be able to keep up? Well, among other things, the show now has more “glamour,” says Sonya Kraus. “If you’re looking to revive such an icon, you want to do it with pomp and not in such a cheap version,” she says. One advantage should be that you don’t have to explain what it is about and why the program looks so colorful. It’s all burned. “When I first stepped into this pastel world, it was like taking a bath,” says Hermanns.

Kraus feels the same. “It felt a bit like going back to your living room. It was all very familiar,” she says. “I suspect if need be I could also moderate the show with three per thousand.”

She doesn’t want to describe the show as a comeback after her breast cancer. She also worked through her chemotherapy. “But I’m still happy to accept the congratulations,” she says. “I would say: the lucky kid is back on the ‘Wheel of Fortune’.” dpa

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