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The Death of Gert Jan Dröge

by Editorial Staff in Media & entertainment , 06 augustus 2007

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

Most Dutch people will know him by the closing phrase: “Gaat het weer een beetje, meneer Dröge?” (Are you feeling a bit better, Mr. Dröge?) He was born as Gerardus Johannes Henri Dröge on the 23rd of April 1943 in Enschede. His father, Gerard Dröge, was a dentist. His mother died when he was only seven. As a child he wanted to become a circus director and he played with his miniature circus on the attic every day. After primary school he went to the Grundel Lyceum in Hengelo and in 1958 he moved to the boarding school of the Carmelites in Oldenzaal. After his military draft he chooses to go to the Toneelschuur in Arnhem, not so much because he wanted to become an actor, but because he just likes to be in the theatre.

But Gert-Jan was so much more than the program that made him famous. He’d been programmer of the cultural centre Paradiso and had booked many international pop groups. He was the manager of several Dutch painters and he assisted Jan Cremer in selling his movie scripts in London. After that he decides to focus on bars and clubs. The Amsterdam club of the COC “De Schakel” kicks the bucket after squabbles, theft and other conflicts so Dröge decides to manage it for the new owner. He also starts his own late night café ‘Chez Nelly’.

This is in the sixties and seventies. Dröge remains restless and decides to go on a trip around the world. The trip inspires him so that he started another club in 1982: ’36 op de schaal van Richter’ (36 on the Richter Scale). On the Sunday afternoons they start broadcasting a live talk show RUR, Rechtstreeks Uit Richter (Live from Richter) presented by Jan Lenferink.

The show is a great success and Dröge produces Lenferink’s RUR for five years. In 1986 he starts a society page for the weekly magazine Haagse Post: ‘Milieu’ and in 1990 he translates that concept to television: ‘Glamourland’. He stays with the AVRO until 2000, and then he changes to Net5 to make programs like: “Gert-Jan Dröge op zoek naar een vrouw” (G.J.Dröge looking for a wife) and “G.J.Dröge doet boodschappen” (G.J. Dröge goes shopping). He also presents “De Nationale Soap Acteerwedstrijd” (The National Soap Acting Competition) for the AVRO in 1999.

Gert-Jan made his first society programs for the VPRO show “Gasthof zur Post Modernen”, in which he reports on the opening of a new Amsterdam nightclub. At the end of 1990 he starts ‘Glamourland’ for the AVRO, with the subtitle ‘Society according to Dröge. The show has reports from parties, movie premieres, hunting parties and previews, lifting tips of the veil of the Dutch nouveau riche. Gert-Jan also participates in TROS’ ‘Gala of the Stars’ for Foster Parents with a geese act.

He shows that making ‘Glamourland’ is not without certain risks when he is removed from cinema Tuschinski by force when he tries to film and interview prince Willem-Alexander. The crew is taken to the police station and Gert-Jan is put under arrest. In 1996 the program crosses borders with ‘Glamourland Internationaal’, with reports from Hong Kong, Moscow, Las Vegas and Palm Beach. Gert-Jan is also doing a lot of presenter work.

He hosts “De Gouden TeleVisierring” several times, as well as “De Nederlandse Academy Awards”.

In 1997 he does “Wij Nederlanders” together with Herman Pleij, a program that humors Dutch things like: Het Oranjegevoel (national orange colored sentiments), Gezelligheid (Dutch coziness), Doe maar Gewoon (just act normal, that’s crazy enough) and Het IJs (The Ice).

From 1998 “Glamourland” is back on the Dutch tvs. On New Year’s Eve he does “The Year According to Dröge” with a review of highlights and disasters in sports, politics, showbiz, royalty, media and society. Gert-Jan hosts 13 episodes of the “National Soap Acting Competition” with every time eight candidates that have a part in a soap series.

During the European Soccer Championship Gert-Jan reports on the soccer craze in “Huis van Oranje” (NOS). Between 2000 and 2003 he makes a series for Net5: “Gert-Jan Dröge zoekt een vrouw”, “G.J. Dröge doet boodschappen” and “Gaat het weer een beetje meneer Dröge?” In 2002 he returns with a new series of “Glamourland”, but now for SBS6. In 2004 he returns to the AVRO as a host of the theatre show “Ticket”.



In the New Issue of Gay News, 322, June 2018

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