Washington, DC – National Geographic Channels International (NGCI) announced on June 5 the commission of the one-hour special Hasselhoff vs. the Berlin Wall from Darlow Smithson Productions. The special, which commemorates the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, will premiere in the U.S. and internationally on National Geographic Channel later this year in 171 countries and 45 languages.
David Hasselhoff has a unique link to the Berlin Wall – a massive pop star across Germany, he was invited to perform in Berlin to a million-strong crowd from a newly united east and west Germany, singing on the broken barrier on New Year’s Eve 1989. More than any other event, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent collapse of Communist rule across Eastern Europe set the scene for the 1990s – and David was there to witness history in the making. With the 25th anniversary approaching, Hasselhoff vs. the Berlin Wall takes viewers on an incredible, personal journey back to Berlin, retracing the Wall’s history, meeting the people who lived in its long shadow – the unbelievable escapes and divided lives – and examining the fate of the Wall’s final remnants. It also chronicles Hasselhoff’s emotional connection to Germany and the Wall as a prominent pop cultural figure whose hit single “Looking for Freedom” served as the unofficial protest anthem uniting east and west.
“Looking for freedom behind the Berlin Wall, I discovered so much more”, said Hasselhoff. “I witnessed firsthand the horror and the pain the East Germans experienced throughout their unwavering fight for freedom. They are an inspiration to us all, and I am proud beyond words to present their saga to the world in partnership with National Geographic Channel”.
“Hasselhoff vs. the Berlin Wall brings to life the extraordinary triumph over tyranny that sent the Wall crashing down while also weaving together an inspiring and surprisingly personal narrative of how David’s unique story fits into the Berlin Wall’s big picture,” said Hamish Mykura, Executive Vice President and Head of International Content for NGCI.
“David didn’t just witness one of the 20th century’s most historic moments, his song “Looking For Freedom” also provided the soundtrack. Through David’s journey and the powerful stories he uncovers, the startling human cost of the wall is laid bare. And it becomes clear why David’s song meant so much to so many”, said Simon Young, Executive Producer at DSP.