FunAstrologyOn the death of Alfred Biolek: The master of...

On the death of Alfred Biolek: The master of conversation

Alfred Biolek has died. For more than 30 years he was present on German television with his cooking show. An obituary.

Frankfurt / Cologne – Sometimes Alfred Biolek added salt. But when he swung the wooden spoon in the kitchen of his Cologne apartment, which had been converted into a veritable television studio with hardly any changes, it was less about the perfect dish than about the introduction of his changing guests. Celebrities from culture, politics and the media who could be trusted to do all kinds of things, but not exactly a Coq au Vin. Sizzling together as a relaxation exercise for pleasant conversations.

“Alfredissimo”, as the most famous and longest lasting cooking show on German television was called, was characterized by the elegant subordination of seasoning, heating and seasoning. Showing the ordinary as the special was the secret of this unpretentious show. Cooking can be an art, but it doesn’t have to be.

Alfred Biolek proved himself to be a master of casual talk, of which one could not get enough. Of course, it was always about taste. As one of the greatest entertainers in its branch, Biolek put itself at the service of the public’s taste at an early stage, without ever revealing its own conception of standards and standards.

Alfred Biolek, aufgenommen bei einem dpa-Gespräch anlässlich seines 85. Geburtstags. Der Entertainer ist am 23.07.2021 in Köln gestorben. (Archivbild)


Alfred Biolek, recorded during a dpa conversation on the occasion of his 85th birthday. The entertainer died on July 23, 2021 in Cologne. (Archive image)

Cooking show “Alfredissimo”: Biolek showed its guests genuine interest

But unlike a good cook who keeps his recipes like a precious secret, the recipe of the TV man Biolek was open to everyone. He showed genuine interest in his guests, including politicians such as Helmut Kohl and Michail Gorbatschow, and always seemed to give them a feeling of security through his joviality and openness.

The journalistic impulse to meet his counterpart with an inexorable killer instinct was alien to him. Alfred Biolek only elicited what he was willing to reveal from his counterpart. But of course, in a cozy atmosphere, which Biolek was always able to roll out like a soft carpet, it could also happen that more escaped the mouths than they would like. Because despite all the suppleness, which some wrongly described as shallow, Alfred Biolek was of course also a media man and journalist.

Alfred Biolek: From lawyer to television entertainer and journalist

Born in 1934 in Karviná, Czech Republic, he grew up there with two brothers in a middle-class Catholic family; his father Joseph Biolek was a lawyer. Towards the end of the Second World War, the city was captured by the Red Army. Father Biolek and his son Alfred were temporarily imprisoned. After their release, the family moved to Waiblingen in Baden-Württemberg, where Joseph Biolek worked as a lawyer from then on.

The father’s job initially seemed to be an obligation to the son. After graduating from high school in 1954, he studied law in Freiburg, Munich and Vienna, but already devoted himself to his artistic inclinations during his studies and was a co-founder of the student cabaret “Das Trojanische Pferd”.

At the beginning of the 1960s he initially worked as a legal advisor in the legal department of ZDF, but soon he took on editorial tasks and moderated information programs such as “Tips for Drivers” and “Customized Holidays”. He got his first contact with entertainment formats through the ZDF afternoon program “Drehscheibe”, which attempted a solid mix between information and glamor in the noticeably loosening up of the 1970s.

Alfred Biolek Lawyer, television entertainer, talk show host, television producer, and cookbook author
Born: July 10, 1934, Fryštát, Karviná, Czech Republic
Deceased: July 23, 2021
TV shows: Including: Drehscheibe, Boulevard Bio, Bio’s Bahnhof, Bei Bio
Parents: Joseph Biolek, Hedwig Biolek

Alfred Biolek shaped the style of moderation of talk shows like no other

When he switched to the production company Bavaria Film in Munich, Alfred Biolek came into contact with the Schwabing bohème, in which the encounter with the restless film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder in particular turned his life around. Biolek acknowledged his homosexuality and lived it privately. The public outing came about in 1991 through the filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim in the RTL program “Explosiv – the hot chair”. Biolek later admitted that this outing had hurt him very much, but that it had at the same time released a permanent tension in him.

Alfred Biolek, who had initially worked successfully as a man in the background in show productions such as Rudi Carrell’s “On the Run”, later shaped the style of moderation of talk shows like hardly anyone else. From the mid-1970s he hosted the legendary “Kölner Treff” together with radio journalist Dieter Thoma, then perfected his style in the first program that bore his name: “Bio’s Bahnhof”, later followed by “Boulevard Bio”.

Fernsehkoch Tim Mälzer (l) unterhält sich mit TV-Koch Alfred Biolek bei der Aufzeichnung von „Tim Mälzer kocht! Gipfeltreffen mit Alfred Biolek“ am 01.04.2009 in Köln. (Archivbild)


TV chef Tim Mälzer (l) talks to TV chef Alfred Biolek while recording “Tim Mälzer kocht! Summit with Alfred Biolek ”on April 1st, 2009 in Cologne. (Archive image)

Alfred Biolek as entrepreneur: Cologne restaurant and artist management

His great art emerged primarily from his ability to establish intimate closeness to his guests and to give them the impression of sitting alone with him in a quiet corner. Biolek succeeded in a special way in releasing the affirmation from the suspicion of pure ingratiation. His great passion, however, belonged to the various areas of show and cabaret. Alfred Biolek was a great scout and explorer who took a tremendous pleasure in finding new talent for his show.

With the success came the feeling for entrepreneurial activities. He participated in the Cologne restaurant “Alter Wartesaal” in the immediate vicinity of the main train station and was responsible for the artist management of his colleagues Dirk Bach and Ralph Morgenstern at Pro GmbH. Biolek was now a jack-of-all-trades in show business and was involved in various charitable projects, in 2000 he was appointed UN special envoy for the world’s population.

Alfred Biolek in Begleitung seines Adoptivsohns Scott Biolek-Ritchie bei einem Besuch im Museum für Angewandte Kunst in Köln. (Archivbild)


Alfred Biolek accompanied by his adoptive son Scott Biolek-Ritchie on a visit to the Museum of Applied Arts in Cologne. (Archive image)

After a fall in 2010, after which he was in a coma for some time and from which he recovered only slowly, he largely withdrew from the public. He was supported by longtime friend Scott Ritchie, whom he adopted in 2014. Alfred Biolek died on Friday at the age of 87 in his Cologne apartment. (Harry Nutt)

List of rubric lists: © Henning Kaiser / dpa

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