Markus Lanz Takes Over At Top German Talk Show 'Wanna Bet?'

1:48 PM PST 03/11/2012 by Scott Roxborough

The 42-year-old presenter replaces veteran Thomas Gottschalk for the Oct. 6 show.

COLOGNE, Germany – Markus Lanz is Germany's new number one showman after signing a deal to replace broadcasting legend Thomas Gottschalk as host of the country's top talk show, Wanna Bet?

Lanz, 42, is already a well-known talking head, having hosted numerous shows on numerous German channels. But Wanna Bet? is in a class of its own. By far the most successful entertainment show in Europe, the program regularly draws 10-15 million viewers and a 40–50 percent market share.

But public broadcaster ZDF had had trouble replacing Gottschalk. Many of Germany’s top TV personalities turned the Wanna Bet? gig down – perhaps worried the show has become inextricably linked with Gottschalk. The search for a new host had become a national obsession.

Lanz, whose Mhoch2 shingle will work closely with ZDF to produce the new Wanna Bet?, is promising to shake things up with his first program, which will air live from Dusseldorf on October 6.

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