The friends and family of journalist and politician Mads Holger are encouraging those in attendance at his funeral at Garrison Church in Copenhagen on Tuesday 12 July to regard the occasion as a celebration of an extraordinary man’s life.
Holger’s suicide on Sunday at the age of just 38 shocked a nation that had grown accustomed to seeing him grabbing headlines as a novelist, politician, commentator and entrepreneur.
In 2015, he was the second most googled male Dane behind astronaut Andreas Mogensen – a year in which he failed to win a seat in Parliament, winning just 977 votes as a Konservative candidate. Just days later, the party kicked him out after he described it as a “dying patient”.
As a journalist writing for the likes of Berlingske and Euroman and as the host of a regular show on Radio24syv, he was a fierce critic of Danish liberalism. And he was also a flamboyant businessman as the founder of the global nightclub concept Klub JET.
His father, the Scottish-Danish artist John Lindsay Little, also committed suicide (in 2001) after he was sentenced to seven years in prison in Sweden for knowingly infecting multiple sexual partners with HIV.
The Scandinavian media referred to him as ‘hiv-manden’. Attempts to charge him in Denmark failed as the victims would need to die first before the police had a case.