Traditionally in Belgium, there’s a moratorium on politicians campaigning in the media from 14 July to election day on 14 October. As a result, Bart Tommelein, the media watchdog of Open VLD, has called for measures to put an end to such blatant electioneering.
Open VLD has no candidates signed up for Masterchef, though it has two who would be perfect for the show. Marijn De Valck, standing in Brakel, East Flanders, is known across Flanders as Balthazar Boma from the sitcom FC De Kampioenen, in which he plays a self-important owner of a snack-food company. A place on Masterchef would be the role his whole career has been leading up to. Open VLD also recently announced that former model and TV presenter Phaedra Hoste will stand in Antwerp.
The candidates in the show, meanwhile, are no strangers to TV: Demesmaeker is a former presenter of Vlaanderen Vakantieland and a former anchor for VRT news. De Donder has played both Kabouter Plop and the mayor in Samson & Gert (pictured). TV is for these people a natural habitat. Keeping them off the screens would be like locking party leaders away from the media for days at a time – coincidentally, the premise of another show on VIER planned for 12 July.