The Danes don’t normally do curses …

but the interviewees of the 2005 DR series ‘De skrev historie’ are dropping like flies

We all enjoy a good curse. From the one about a famous person dying every time Arsenal player Aaron Ramsey scores a goal to those associated with King Tutankhamun’s tomb and films like ‘Superman’ and ‘Poltegeist’, the media never turn down a chance to make a tenuous connection or two.

But for some reason, Denmark would appear to have no curse stories of its own. Or so we thought.

A groundbreaking series
Following the death of Israel’s elder statesman Shimon Peres on September 28, almost half of the interview subjects featured in the 2005 Danish current affairs series ‘De skrev historie’ have subsequently snuffed it.

The ten-episode series remains one of DR’s most ambitious ever projects. Featuring interviews with some of the 20th century’s biggest powerbrokers, it offered fascinating insights into the decisions that shaped the world we live in.

They are history
Four of journalist Steffen Kretz’s main interviewees have now died – and some prematurely. Benazir Bhutto, the former leader of Pakistan, was assassinated in 2007 aged just 54, while Muammar Gadaffi was butchered by rebel forces in 2011 aged 69.

While Peres was all of 93, former Philippines leader Corazon Aquino was only 76 when she died in 2009 of colorectal cancer.

Two of the politicians on the original list conceived in 2004, Margaret Thatcher (87) and Yasser Arafat (75), have also since died.

And Desmond Tutu (84) came close to dying last week after an operation didn’t go as planned.

This leaves Tutu, Madeleine Albright (79), Daniel Ortega (70), FW de Klerk (80), Lech Walesa (72) and Viktor Yushchenko (62) as the only survivors.

But it also wrote the future
However, despite all the deaths, some good came out of ‘De skrev historie’. It was whilst making the series that Kretz met and collaborated with Lillian Gjerulf, the future DR newsreader who worked as the producer of the show.

The pair married in 2008 and now have two children, so maybe curses is one superstition the Danes simply don’t do!

Steffen Kretz (left) is a familiar face to DR viewers and foreign dignitaries such as Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev (photo: