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Johan Derksen: ‘Kaag made me decide to return to TV’ | TV

“We’re just going back to it,” says presenter Wilfred Genee enthusiastically in the announcement. “Look at him again: Johan Derksen.” And there he sat. As if he had never been away. “I never realized that we are so popular,” he later explains about his quick return. According to Derksen, he received hundreds of letters, flower arrangements and cigars in support of the program. Enough to persuade him to sit down at the table again.

Colleague Van der Gijp also sounded certain of his decision to stop. “We are convinced that we will not return to TV in this form,” he told this newspaper after the ‘last’ broadcast.

Despite those firm words, it turned out to be far from serious. The men sat down with Talpa and Derksen announced the return of the program last week, before Talpa was ready. It caused a bit of confusion for a while.

No sorry

Derksen therefore does not give in to the ‘cancel culture’, of which he previously said he was a victim. The question is whether he is actually a victim of cancel culture. Not all critics seemed eager to get the program off the air. But apologies were demanded from society and also from Talpa. “There is a clear line between expressing an opinion and confessing on TV to a crime you have ever committed,” said Paul Römer, Talpa Network’s radio and television director.

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Johan Derksen had a message for 'all talk show tables' on Monday evening.

Johan Derksen had a message for ‘all talk show tables’ on Monday evening.

‘Sorry’, however, does not appear to be easy for Derksen, although two weeks ago he dressed up in his own way somewhere in the broadcast where an apology was demanded from Talpa, but where he eventually announced that he would throw in the towel. “It’s a slip of mine. That’s deadly on TV. Today I got the bill, I was fired everywhere as some kind of criminal.”

He would rather resign than make explicit apologies. In the meantime, Talpa appears to be satisfied with half-hearted apologies to allow the viewing figure to return. Monday evening another kind of penance followed: although it was clear that the disguised ‘sorry’ was not addressed to everyone.


The fact that Talpa was not behind the trio stung him. “I got the idea that Talpa was not behind us. If Talpa drops out, I’m outlawed.” Hence, apologies were not an option. “Even if I drop dead here, I won’t.”

“A really embarrassing press release came out from Talpa: that we ‘would humbly apologize that evening’. I was quite fed up with it. And then of course you get the problem that all those people at the talk show tables are going to demand very well and politically correct that I have to apologize. I have to say ‘sorry’ or ‘I’m sorry’. But they don’t have to give me the words, I get along very well.”

According to the former editor-in-chief of weekly magazine Football International he had already distanced himself from it in the broadcasts. “It is true, and my wife made that clear to me, so the people who are really affected by sexual violence, I may have hurt them with this. And that was never my intention. But all those people at those talk show tables, who shouted ‘Derksen must apologize’ to score, I only have one gesture: this one”, says Derksen, who then raises his middle finger, followed by applause from the audience.


The guests were well chosen: Roxane Knetemann, who last weekend in The Telegraph expressed her appreciation for the program, despite the pressure she felt not to join. ,,Maybe say sorry if you hurt someone’, Knetemann nevertheless advised Derksen.

Table guest Heleen van Royen stood out in recent weeks, because she was one of the few to record it for the program. She praised the freedom that reigns. “The nuance was completely lost,” she had noticed. When Van Royen, laughing, asks if Derksen also received candles between the presents, he says: “Yes, because we were through that at home.”


But in the end, according to Derksen, there is ‘one lady who made him decide to return to TV’: “And that was that terribly arrogant Mrs. Kaag. Who knew nothing about it and who never saw us on TV. He said, “It’s good he’s gone.” And then she said something very ugly, and a lot of people didn’t understand it that way: ‘I heard that that program originated from a football program. Yes, then you understand how such a thing is possible… ‘And then I think: what a filthy and arrogant bitch you are.”

We have plunged into the abyss, crawl out and move on, Genee concludes, after he too expressed his disappointment in Talpa. They’re back again.

‘Offer public broadcaster’

In the broadcast, Derken blurted out that the trio had received an offer from the public broadcaster to join the talk show. Khalid and Sophie to replace. He was immediately called back by Genee. When leaving the studio, René van der Gijp stated to the camera of The Telegraph that it was ‘no bullshit’ and they’ve had a conversation for the past two weeks.

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