Linda de Mol turns 60: “Dream Wedding” made her a ratings queen

Linda de Mol made TV history with the popular RTL show “Traumhochzeit”. Today, July 8, she celebrates her 60th birthday.

Linda de Mol. For those in charge of television, this name is a legendary term, primarily as a TV brand. In the 1990s, they celebrated unforgettable triumphs with the presenter on private television. RTL managers are said to still get teary-eyed today when they hear about Linda de Mol.

A European entertainment icon

Today, July 8th, the popular presenter celebrates her 60th birthday. Of her 60 years, she has been a media star for a good 40 years. In England, Germany and her home country of Holland. During this time, she has entertained many millions of people. If you will: a European entertainment icon.

Significantly, she was born in Hilversum, the media center of the Netherlands, home to numerous radio and TV stations. Her father John de Mol senior (1931-2013) was a Dutch pop star and music producer. Her brother John de Mol (69), for example, developed the worldwide ratings hit “Big Brother” and is considered one of the richest media entrepreneurs in the world.

In this respect, Linda’s path was also mapped out. After graduating from high school, she began studying law at the Free University of Amsterdam, but in 1964 she started working for the British Sky Channel as a presenter of the chart show “Eurochart Top 50”. In the first two years of her career, she presented over 400 TV shows with programs such as “DJ Kat” and “In touch with the Dutch”. In 1987, she returned home to the public broadcaster TROS.

With the “Dream Wedding” she writes television history

Four years later, the blonde, extremely clever Dutchwoman appeared on RTL in Cologne – as the presenter of the two to two-and-a-half hour game show “Dream Wedding”, which her brother had developed. The extremely popular show ran on the channel in 92 episodes from January 1992 to 2000. At times, the format achieved dream ratings of over eleven million viewers. From 2004, she presented “The Million Deal” on Sat.1 and in 2012 the talent show “The winner is…”, both from the media studio of her brother John.

Linda also worked in a variety of ways in the Netherlands, as a presenter of various shows and, from 1999, as an actress in the TV series “Spangen”, in which she played a detective for seven years. And she developed the Dutch series “Feine Freundinnen” (based on successful formats such as “Sex and the City” and “Desperate Housewives”) herself, in which she naturally played the leading role.

She enjoyed acting: “You have a lot more opportunities to bring yourself into the picture than on TV. When you rehearse a scene, you also have to think about yourself. That’s a luxury I don’t normally have.”

With “Linda” she launches her own magazine

But apparently that wasn’t enough, because in 2003 she founded the lifestyle magazine “Linda”, whose opinionated editor-in-chief is of course called Linda de Mol and which is one of the most widely read magazines in the Netherlands.

For the magazine, she presented herself naked as a 59-year-old, or at least apparently naked, on the cover of the issue of “permissiveness”. She posed sitting in a camping chair. Her bare arms, legs and shoulders were visible, with her long blonde hair falling over the rest.

Her schedule became so full that she admitted: “I hardly have a social life outside of the family, I see my friends far too rarely, I hardly ever go to the cinema or the theatre. But I’m happy to put up with that.” And of course the fees. Her fortune is probably in the upper double-digit millions, if not in the billions of her brother’s.

There are also dark months behind her

In 2014, she had to experience the downside of her popularity. For over a year, she and John de Mol were threatened and blackmailed. The perpetrator demanded ten million euros, otherwise he would harm Linda de Mol and her children. The blackmailer was a 71-year-old pensioner suffering from dementia who had demanded the millions “to fight poverty in South Africa and Indonesia,” as he himself explained.

“He hardly knew what he was doing,” the judges said, and sentenced him to a suspended sentence of ten months in prison and a symbolic sentence of 141 days in prison, which the pensioner had already served in custody. The man was released after the verdict.

“He took away our freedom,” complained Linda de Mol, reporting that her two children were unable to go out on the street without fear for months. “All of this has brought our family very close together.”

Your great loves

She has repeatedly spoken about her family in her magazine “Linda”, including the end of her second long-term relationship (1994-2007) with TV director Sander Vahle (57), with whom she has son Julian (26) and daughter Noa (24).

After the separation over 16 years ago, she wrote in her notebook in January 2024: “I cried and tore pictures off the wall, stuffed clothes into a bag and said hurtful things.” At some point, both partners decided that they had to do better, “especially when you have children together and are getting divorced.”

She has long since reconciled with Sander Vahle, she even posed with him on the cover of “Linda” and wrote: “I will never again think that our relationship has failed. Instead, our relationship worked really well for a long time.” When she sees today “how my son does something, I think lovingly: Oh, he got that from his nice father, instead of: Damn, he inherited that from that idiot.”

Her first marriage to diamond dealer Fred Reuter (1991-1995) did not end so peacefully. Years after their separation, he was still ranting against his ex-wife in the “Bild” newspaper: “Linda is a control freak. That’s why men run away from her.” She always says “how everything has to go.”

Her last relationship dominated the headlines

Her last relationship with Dutch musician Jeroen Rietbergen (53) also came to an unpleasant end – at least officially. Rietbergen was accused of abuse of power and sexual assault as band leader of the casting show “The Voice of Holland” (concept: John de Mol). He admitted that he had sexual contact with women who took part in the show and sent them emails with sexual content. He was not aware of any wrongdoing at the time.

Linda de Mol found out about it when she was cooking a risotto in her kitchen, and wrote in her magazine that she had fallen into “a big black hole.” “The fact that someone you love so much behaved badly with young women – that made me sad and angry.” She immediately separated from her partner.

He has since been exonerated, as various media have reported. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the investigations show “that sexual acts did indeed take place, but not that they were carried out under duress. Rietbergen had always denied that there had been any sexual acts that amounted to coercion. This was claimed by one of the candidates. The investigations have now shown that the plaintiff did not tell the truth on essential points!”

Linda de Mol and Jeroen Rietbergen are said to have started dating again a year ago. When asked by a Dutch magazine, the presenter herself said: “Guys, I don’t owe anyone an explanation. This is about my private life. The only thing I want to say is that after a year I still have something to sort out and I want to leave it at that.”

If a love comeback has actually happened, Linda will let her fans know. Exclusively on “Linda”, of course. Where else?!

Source: Stern

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