“It is with enormous sadness and an incredible feeling of defeat that we have to announce that our dear colleague Ward Verrijcken has passed away,” reads the VRT press release. “We are going to miss him very much and the inspired way in which he talked about his great passion for film. For the VRT, Ward was ‘our man’ on the red carpet, in the cinemas, for the interviews with the international and Flemish film stars … He was always ready to give a film tip or an anecdote for TV, radio and online. share. We are going to miss Ward very much. We wish his family and loved ones a lot of strength. ”
CEO Frederik Delaplace is also very dismayed: “The employees of the VRT are very shocked by the death of their dear colleague Ward Verrijcken. Ward was not only a film connoisseur for us; he was a warm and beloved colleague, a listening ear, an enthusiastic person. It’s unreal that he’s gone. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues who have been severely affected. ”
Verrijcken constantly shuttled between red carpets in Flanders and Hollywood, and interviewed the biggest stars, but Ward Verrijcken preferred to become a doctor as a child. He also started in medicine, but it did not last long. “After six months of medicine in Leuven, I had to admit that – given my journalistic ambitions and love for language – I should have gone for the only logical choice: Germanic,” he told the Campus newspaper of his alma mater: KU Leuven a few years ago .
After he graduated, he immediately started as editor-in-chief at the film magazine TEEK, for which he also wrote during his studies. “I wanted to play with the big boys so badly that I didn’t even allow myself a big vacation. Later I regretted that enormously. The high workload at TEEK also became very difficult for my young naive me, who took everything into account. ”
The Red carpet
After a short period at Het Laatste Nieuws, he started as a film and TV reporter at the VRT. He worked for Woestijnvis magazine Bonanza, which was only nine months old. “Exactly in the week that the magazine closed, I heard that they were looking for a film specialist on the VRT at The Red carpet because Nic Balthazar, whom they asked for, finally refused. That was my chance. It was eternally frustrating that the program was not taken seriously, even though we worked harder on our stories than I can now for The news.”
He ended up working for ten years for The Red carpet, for which he was allowed to interview the biggest stars. From Meryl Streep to Justin Timberlake and Madonna: he got to ask them all questions. He tried to make a difference with his enthusiasm. “Even when I have a rare, less cheerful day, I turn the switch. There are more difficult things than having to be happy for ten minutes, ”he said. He was also good at lobbying, which resulted in exclusive interviews with JK Rowling and Oprah Winfrey. “For seven years I had to insist with JK Rowling’s publicist to finally be able to speak to her for six minutes at the premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. But I was the only one who got permission then. ”
In 2011, when the program was closed, he switched to the news service. He was a reporter for the last ten years VRT NWS, The news in Radio 1. As a FilmWard he was also present on social media.