Vlastimil Ježek about Talks from Lány
June 7, 2011
Several insights from the former director of Czech Radio who was directly involved in Talks from Lány.
There are not many personalities you can build such a type of program on. After Václav Havel, nothing like this has continued. I cannot imagine that it would be possible, for example, with Václav Klaus. He has an incredible desire to define himself against everyone and everything, besides, only a few people are partners for a dialogue with him. When you quote someone in front of Václav Klaus, he raises his eyebrow and says: “I don’t know him, I’m not interested.”
I managed Czech Radio from 1994 to 1999. Sometime in the middle of that period came Václav Havel with a suggestion to change the dramaturgy of the Talks. The two people interviewing one person were then joined by a guests chosen by Václav Havel. He was no longer only responding, but started to ask questions too.
Of all of the dialogues where I and the second moderator, Robert Tamchyna, were rather kind of catalysts, I remember especially the one with Václav Klaus. Had had said in advance that he did not really know if he wanted to come at all, because the Ježek is a weird bird. He also feared being harmed by cutting of the program. Then when we were ready in Lány, Václav Havel walked around the room and looking out of the window, he said, “Of course, prime minister. Of course, he will come late just to show who’s the boss here.” In the end, I think, this program was ironically one of the best, although, of course, it was not friendly. People who really have almost nothing in common were willing to talk about something for nearly two hours.