Jan Jaap passes his exam

Everything just keeps coming to an end, and Thursday evening it was once again up to ‘The ideal world’ to join the polonaise towards the exit. Someday it will be up to you, and then it will be up to me, but as long as there are Leyers sisters left, no one will really prove irreplaceable. That may be called reassurance.

Tom Raes

After four years of wading through Flemish current affairs in ‘The ideal world’, a swampy task that he managed without the help of waders, he now also had Jan-Jaap Van der Wal his military service as a presenter. I may hope that this duty was also a bit of a pleasure all along, but the inner daily report of a professional like Van der Wal will always remain difficult to read for unauthorized persons. As a result, he presided over his farewell episode not noticeably differently from all the previous ones, not even after receiving the laudatio dedicated to him by the editors of ‘The ideal world’, the pinnacle point. God knows I can appreciate craftsmen, and not just in the hour between dog and wolf, when a frozen water pipe has burst into laughter at my expense. And besides, it doesn’t have to be too powerful for everyone.

The modest farewell ceremony was preceded by an episode that was sort of a final exam. PhD candidate Van der Wal, dressed for the occasion as a tenor in a traditional barbershop quartet – only the straw hat was missing – could be the last proof of his ability Sam Gooris trying to herd towards clarity with a smile. He already knew that something like this entails risks for anyone who now also has a current affairs magazine to manage: four years ago, when Van der Wal had just taken office to replace the still somewhat irreplaceable Otto-Jan HamGooris had been the central guest during Van der Wals maiden voyage† This was not without fluctuations, because Gooris put his debuting host to the test by displaying in his characteristic way an all-encompassing ignorance about themes that fell outside his sphere of interest. Moreover, these turned out to be quite numerous, so that Van der Wal was allowed to row on his own when it became clear that the wind would leave the sails untouched during his first crossing.

A critic can only feel grateful when the comparative material is presented to him so beautifully garnished, although I have always found it more than a professional pleasure to observe the professional growth at Van der Wal, who had grown unmistakably in recent years. in his role as ringmaster at ‘The ideal world’, a circus with varying staffing levels. Gooris, whose sincerity I have never doubted until now, indicated that he was sorry that Van der Wal was ready for his last episode. Would he have been a regular viewer for the past four years? I take a somewhat more reserved attitude to such questions, I notice, but I have no doubt that there is a suitable pear somewhere in Gooris, or some other sound fruit from our own soil. The trick is: consume in moderation, as with many types of fruit. You should only be allowed from the TV.

The depth of the pond in which Sam Gooris has his biotope did not seem to me to have increased appreciably in four years: Van der Wal was still out of the game, but after a few careful surveys he didn’t try it anymore, unlike before. . In a similar way I already had the feeling that ‘The ideal world’ had been able to adapt itself better and better to its host in recent years. That resulted in a noticeably different program than under Ham, and will soon lead to a different shape under Ella Leyers, but as long as the inherent necessity does not wane, ‘The ideal world’ will remain indispensable in a broadcasting schedule as far as I am concerned. It should only be allowed from the TV. And football is not allowed. ‘In my ideal world, the magazine about European football now started’, had Karl Vannieuwkerke reluctantly completed his own program for Van der Wal’s farewell – it was already nearly eleven o’clock by then. It wouldn’t be the first time that Karl’s idea of ​​an ideal world in no way overlapped with mine. May that remain the case for a long time to come. Put it on, Ella.