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Schalkse Ruiters, translated as "Roguish Horsemen", was a very successful show aired on the Flemish TV channel Eén. The motto of the show is: do not believe what you see on TV. During the show, three documentaries are presented. The viewers vote whether the documentaries are real or fake. Anno 2012 the show still got the Belgian record of most viewers, dating from an episode sent out in 1997. The show won almost every Belgian television award.

The show is presented by Bart De Pauw and Tom Lenaerts who got a lawsuit after episode 2. They dressed up as airpilots, wearing fake uniforms and forged badges, and were able to pass all security controls of the Belgian airport Zaventem. They even sat in the cockpit of a Boeing and were able to sneak out of the airport without being caught.[1] The security of Zaventem was even discussed in a ministerial meeting.[2] During episode 3, the show was about to stop by national security as both presenters claimed to have entered Hertoginnedal and followed a top secret governmental meeting. This documentary was fake and it later turned out the action of the national security was also a set up.

Besides the three documentaries, the show also contain candid camera. At the end of the show, the viewers are asked to do a task. One of the tasks was to be a paparazzi and to make photos of Belgian celebrities. After one day, the management of the VRT decided to cancel the task as it was losing ground.

Stunts[]

  • Lenaerts and De Pauw tried to convince Bert De Graeve, then Vice-President of VRT, to appear as guest in their show. De Graeve rejected every request. In the second last episode of season 1, the viewers task was to hang banners in their street with a call to De Graeve to visit the show. This caused such a public pressure, De Graeve did turn up.
  • Franky Van der Elst won the Belgian Golden Shoe in 1996. It was once stolen from his house. Van der Elst insinuated "Schalkse Ruiters" might be involved as they filmed in his house on the day of theft. Schalkse Ruiters claimed they were not responsible. During next episode, they placed a pyrite replica of the shoe as a prop on their desk. At the end of the episode they admitted the shoe was not a replica, but the one owned by Van der Elst and was indeed taken from his house. The Golden Shoe was given back to Van der Elst.
  • In almost every episode, De Pauw played 'the man from Melle'. This character was a love-sick loser in search of a buxom lady. In episode 10, Pamela Anderson was interviewed by 'the man of Melle', not knowing he was a fake reporter.
  • The song "Ogen Zo Groen", sung by the unknown group "B-Boys" became a hit in the The Belgian Pop Chart. The production house and the manager of the B-Boys did not give background information. During last episode of season 1, De Pauw and Lenaerts admitted they were the singers.
  • VTM, one of VRT's competitors, sent out a commercial for the Belgian beer Stella Artois. The motto of the beer was: 'Je huis is waar je Stella staat' (Your home is where your Stella stands). Lenaerts and De Pauw acted in the clip and were disguised as Russian sailors leaving their ship. They were driven by a taxi to a pub. Once in the pub, two Stella Artois beers were already on the table, waiting for them. Lenaerts and De Pauw did speak in a foreign language. However, if the clip was played from the end to the start, it was regular Dutch. The Schalkse Ruiters asked to look to their next episode. It was the intention to reveal the stunt during that episode as Guido Depraetere, then President of VTM, was a guest appearance. However, after the clip was broadcast a few times, they were caught.

References[]

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