On an adventure trip despite a wheelchair – Gaby Köster: “Realizing dreams is always possible – on a small and large scale”

  • 14 years ago Gaby Köster suffered a stroke. However, she doesn’t let that get her down.
  • In an interview with our editors, the comedy star talks about his adventure trip to southern France and explains why it’s always worth making your dreams come true.
  • In addition, the 60-year-old talks about the Amazon success format “LOL” and remembers her late colleague Mirco Nontschew.

Ms Köster, how are you?

Gaby Koester: Thanks for asking. Except for the wintry temperatures, which probably bothers everyone, I’m doing quite well.

The anticipation of the RTL documentary “Gaby Köster – My Crazy Bucket List” probably also contributes to the good mood. What did you experience on your trip to southern France?

I don `t know where to start. The days we spent in a commune were particularly formative. There were people from all over the world represented. Together we lived self-sufficiently on a farm in the middle of nature. That was really an experience. In addition, for the first time in my life I sat on horseback – and I’m not talking about a pony, but about a “giant horse”.

Have you got a taste for it or is your motto “once and never again”?

Rather the latter. Riding isn’t really my thing, as I’ve found. If you can only hold on with one hand, you will quickly reach your limits at this height. I felt like I was sitting on a bar table that my body was sawn onto (laughs).

I can’t really imagine you meditating in a commune – with all due respect…

Oh, I’m not dismissive of the whole thing. That makes sense. It is not uninteresting if you take the time and listen to yourself.

What were you able to take with you for yourself and your everyday life?

There were many people with very strenuous jobs – most of them have long since passed burnout and are in a kind of “fuck off” state. The insight we were able to take away was that nature and encounters with people give you incredible strength. This time in the commune was an experience that I will live with for a long time, if not my whole life.

Gaby Köster: “These days, many find it difficult to just be nice”

You described this trip as the funnest school trip of your life. What are you up to?

On the one hand we had a very funny team, on the other hand I tend to throw out one or the other loose joke. I mostly do this unconsciously. It wasn’t until the moment the cameraman pointed out to me that if I didn’t finally stop it that the pictures would only be blurred, it dawned on me. Nowadays, many people find it difficult to just be nice. I find this very important and life-sustaining. That was the case within our team. In between, you could also take aim at each other and no one was angry with the other. I love that.

In January 14 years ago you suffered a stroke. How did you come up with the idea of ​​embarking on an adventurous journey, despite the limitations that this disease brings with it?

About two years ago I talked to my manager about what I would really like to do again. Because I like to travel and get to know other people and cultures, I came up with the idea of ​​this travel documentary – also to show people who have similar restrictions that it is possible. Realizing dreams is always possible – on a small as well as on a large scale.

Were there also situations that pushed you to your limits?

Yes. I reached my limits when I couldn’t open the door in my supposedly handicapped room. Like a vault door that you couldn’t do alone. Whenever I wanted to leave the room, I first had to make a phone call and be freed. My urgent appeal is: Please redesign the rooms in such a way that disabled people can also leave the premises with one arm. The feeling of being locked in is scary.

Is there a need to catch up in hotels in Germany and Europe in this regard?

Well, I must add that this was the first time I had been alone in a hotel room since my illness. But I do have some suggestions for improvement. For example, if you have to drive a wheelchair on carpet, then that borders on a workout – especially for someone like me who can only use one arm.

Where and with whom are you watching this documentary on Wednesday? Does it feel like a little cinema premiere?

A bit, because the documentary is new territory for me as well as for all other viewers. I’ve never seen the finished work either. It was actually planned that I would watch at home with my son and my good friend Beate, who accompanied me on this trip. However, since I’ll be at “stern TV” directly afterwards, I had to scrap this plan. We’re going to have a look in the dressing room together – with everything that girls need. Maybe with one or the other “chocolate”…

That sounds like a colorful evening. Is this TV documentary your belated birthday present? They turned 60 in early December…

At least this trip had something to do with my 60th birthday as it was my wish. None of us get out of life alive. You should always think about what else would interest you in life – even before your 60th birthday, of course. We live in the here and now.

Has your view of life changed because of your stroke?

Definitive. Since having this, my attitude has changed. Sentences like “If I have time one day, I will do this and that” will no longer be heard from me. I know far too many people who unfortunately never got to experience their dream trip. So I recommend: Don’t push, just do it! It’s good to step out of your comfort zone.

Was this adventure a one-off TV return for you, or will you be seen on TV more often again?

I hope that this documentary will interest as many people as possible. If that is the case, I am optimistic that it will continue. We would like to think of many more beautiful things that we can do together as a team.

Would a comedy show like “7 Days, 7 Heads” still work in today’s TV landscape?

I’m rather skeptical about that. I think everything has its time. I experienced unforgettable moments with both “Rita’s World” and “7 Days, 7 Heads”. And I think you should leave it at that. You don’t always have to repeat everything, you can also create new formats.

There are new formats, such as Bully Herbig’s “LOL: Last One Laughing” on Amazon Prime. How do you like this comedy show?

I watched the first two seasons too. It’s a very exciting concept. The participants confirmed how difficult it is not to laugh for six hours. I can imagine that this is really a real challenge.

How long would you think you could last?

My fear is that my control is not that great and I would be thrown out relatively quickly. Of course, it depends on which fellow campaigners are there and how vulnerable I am to these people. You’d have to think about horrible things all the time just to keep from laughing. That’s a horror too. Or the action of Max Giermann: He shaved his head in all seriousness during the show. What is “LOL” doing to people? (laughs)

“Mirco’s death is a huge loss”

Mirco Nontschew, who died unexpectedly, is part of the third “LOL” season that has not yet been broadcast. How do you remember your colleagues?

At that time I was a guest on “RTL Saturday Night” from time to time, and we sometimes met there. He was an absolutely fun-loving, insanely talented comedian. Mirco’s death is a huge loss. This tragic event shows me once again that you should realize your dreams as early as possible – even if they may seem complicated at first.

Is that your most important message?

Definitely, because what do we think about one day when we are old, when we are perhaps tied to our beds: unfortunately often not of the things that we have done, but of those that we would have liked to have done. But then it’s too late.

What dreams are still on your bucket list?

I really want to go to Hawaii – not only because of the sun and sea, but also because of the shamans with whom I would like to exchange ideas. In principle, they are natural medicine men who would definitely have one or the other useful tip ready. There is much more to life than what you see or hear.

The documentary “Gaby Köster – My Crazy Bucket List” runs on RTL on January 19 at 8:15 p.m.

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