You have been in Ascona for many years, what was the best time for you? And why?

The best years in Ascona were certainly the late 1970s and early 1980s, when there was this absolute freedom to do what you wanted, how you wanted and with whom you wanted. People came to Ascona to have fun, with seven nightclubs and a very intense social life, without having to overdo it like we do today, so everything was easy and fun.
There were no problems, real life was a game.
You could reinvent yourself every day. Maybe this attitude gave me the basis for an easier life, always being in that time.

Which other place is particularly close to your heart?

Apart from Ascona, in the south of France I am very attached to this French way of life of the “je m’en fout” type. “Je m’en fout”‘, I don’t care about anything, I do what I want, the famous “live and let live” that would still do so many people good today…..

Do you think that looking back you can say that you were able to enjoy your life to the fullest and achieved what you wanted?

Apart from the fact that I have never been a person who looks back, but only lives for today or at most for tomorrow, I have nothing to complain about, I have left nothing behind, the famous saying “every left is lost” has been a “leitmotif” that has accompanied me throughout my life.
I have done, tried, visited, eaten, used, observed everything I could and I can say that I am completely satisfied with the way my first 63 years have gone.

What advice would you give a young person for their life?

One piece of advice I can give to young people today is: live your dreams, live and realise everything you want, set the bar of your hypothetical goal you want to achieve very high, so that even if you don’t quite reach it, you will have come a long way in life.
Don’t leave your dreams in the drawer, don’t live out your fantasies and frustrations badly, even if you have different world views.
If the famous once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes along that can change your life, seize it, even if it forces you to revise all your previous plans and move out of your “comfort zone”.
Luck comes to everyone a few times in life, but only a few manage to see it and take advantage of it.

What is your recipe for making a dream come true?

Dream and live, dream again and fulfil, that is my recipe, but it is also the only one in the world that works, dream live, dream live and dream, until the end.

How important were your parents for what you have achieved in your life and who you are today?

Certainly my parents shaped me, they were the ones who made me who I am.
They had a very “Steinerian” vision of the world, and that gave me the opportunity to develop everything I had in my head, my fantasies, my dreams, without having to follow stereotypical patterns that were considered right at that time in history.
We were in the middle of the liberating flower power movement and that was certainly the recipe for success, for me, I repeat, not for everyone.

You are the only Swiss person to have won an Emmy Sport Award. Can you share this experience and some anecdotes about the award ceremony?

Winning the Emmy in television is like winning the Oscar in the film world.
1994 was the same year that Peter Falk aka Columbo and Cindy Lauper won for their video, as did Helmut Thoma, the owner of RTL in Germany, to name a few.
Winning the Emmy Awards with CBS was a point that definitely changed my life, even if I only realized it many years later. The fact that I was given this important honor in the world of television, and at such a young age, helped me a lot in my profession.
For me, ’94 marked the end of the first part of my long television career, which began in 1978 and during which I worked for about fifteen years for various Italian television channels such as Canale 5, Retequattro, etc., and above all for the two major American networks, ABC and CBS. This was followed by a second part where I started producing independently and working as a freelance director, while the third and perhaps final part was when I was hired by Swiss Radio and Television as a director for various TV shows and games as well as for national programmes such as ice hockey and football.

How would you explain the difference between being and having to a child?

The difference between being and having is an abysmal difference. What you have, you have accumulated, you have found it, you have earned it, you have stolen it, and today it is yours, but tomorrow it can easily be taken away from you, you can lose it through bad investments, an illness, a divorce, a loss.
On the other hand, what you are can never be taken away from you, it is within you, and that is why I always tell myself that I feel really rich, because that is the real luxury and the real wealth. TO BE.

You have your own way of dealing with yourself and you declare that you “don’t care about people”. In what sense do you mean that?

The famous phrase “I don’t give a damn about people and the world” is partly a mask, a way of defending myself.
I have been lucky enough to learn to love and appreciate myself as I am, so I have to tell the truth that I am enough, even as company.
I am a lonely lion who likes to be around people, but I always observe a little from the outside, I observe myself a lot and I also judge myself very harshly.

What were you doing in Vail, Colorado in the late 1980s?

I have traveled all over the world for work, in countries from Japan to Canada, from the Nordic countries to the Arab Emirates, from Russia to America, always on the hunt for the most important world events and happenings, from all kinds of sports to concerts, again from pop and rock music to classical music and opera, and for that you have to be not only healthy and full of beans, but also very open-minded and clearly multilingual to be able to communicate with everyone, get their “jokes”, go out and have a good time like them, and adapt to a variety of situations, for better or worse.
At a party in Vail, Colorado, in the late 1980s, the gentleman who opened the door for me said, “Hello, nice to meet you, I’m Gerry” and that face reminded me of someone, it was Gerald Ford, the former President of the United States. At that party there was also the future President George W. Bush and Bill Clinton’s wife.

You have met so many personalities in your life that I can hardly ask you a question about a particular person. What common characteristics have you noticed in the famous/popular people you have dealt with?

In my long career I have met a lot of famous and not famous or at least supposedly famous people.

In the world, all people are equal, especially the so-called famous or well-known, because it is they who need us, they need the media, they need to appear on television, on the radio.
If they have become someone, it is thanks to people like us who make them stars.
There are many anecdotes here about wonderful people I could mention, but I don’t want to mention names because there would be just as many I would like to mention who are instead terrible people who don’t even deserve to be mentioned.
But that’s the way the world is, they need us much more than we need them.

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