At the age of 23 or 24 she came to ZDF. A few years later, one of the longest news anchor careers in German television began. On Wednesday, February 8, Gundula Gause, who was born in Berlin, is celebrating her anniversary: ​​she has been co-moderator of the “heute journal” for 30 years.

In an interview, the mother of two children in her early 20s reveals whether she suffered from the fact that she was never only promoted to anchorwoman, that she dresses very differently in private than in front of the camera and why she remains an optimist despite the depressing news situation.

teleschau: In the eyes of many people, you have been the woman in the second row at “heute journal” for 30 years. Does that annoy you?

Gundula Gause: No, because that’s not true either. I’m a comedian and editor in the studio. The second row only looks like this on the outside. And since last year, at the suggestion of our editor-in-chief Bettina Schausten, I’ve also been on the screen as a moderator for the “heute” programs at 12 noon and 5 p.m. and at midnight for the “heute journal up:date”.

teleschau: But doesn’t it scratch your ego if someone else has always been the face of the show for 30 years?

Gundula Gause: Claus Kleber always said that we don’t have a first and second moderator. Anyone familiar with the news business knows that a good show can only be produced as a team. It was always the same with the “heute journal”. We’ve always felt like an equal team and the feedback from the people I meet on the road is always great. I only have nice encounters…

teleschau : So you are often recognized on the street? There are TV people who look very different in real life than they do on TV. And others just like on the screen. Which category do you belong to?

Gundula Gause: The latter. But I know what you mean, and I have one or two colleagues in mind who actually act or look very different away from the camera. I look pretty much like you know me from TV. Except that I’m much more casually dressed privately. I wear jeans and sporty things.

teleschau: Your hairstyle also contributes to the high recognition value. The Gundula Gause pageboy is almost legendary.

Gundula Gause: You can talk to me about anything, but actually not about my hairstyle!

Teleschau: Why?

Gundula Gause: Because it’s a boring topic. I realized about 30 years ago that this is my hairstyle. And because I am a loyal person who is interested in continuity, I was no longer interested in change. That’s why the hairstyle stayed. You have your reasons for sticking with a style. Maybe this hairstyle just suits me best – which could be because I have a long neck. I think I just “grooved in” with this hairstyle.

teleschau: Over the past 30 years, have you ever wanted to leave the “heute journal”?

Gundula Gause: No. I am a ZDF plant and feel very comfortable. Being familiar with a cosmos offers many advantages that you can use. I’m a news editor through and through. Every day is different depending on the news situation. In this respect: Even if the events I report on in my job are often depressing. News was and still is my dream job.

teleschau: You mention the gloomy news situation of the last few years. Is it really worse now than it used to be?

Gundula Gause: Unfortunately, news is mostly bad news. The plane that landed safely isn’t news, but the one that crashed was. Of course, with the pandemic, the war and the economic crisis, we have an accumulation of larger and longer-lasting crises. In the past, the news wasn’t usually nicer either. With the exception of one piece of news that will probably remain the best of my professional life: German reunification. At that time we actually floated on “cloud 9” for a while. Also because the opposing blocs East and West seemed to be falling apart and an era of peace and understanding was beginning.

teleschau: Are we living in a negative spiral of bad developments and news today?

Gundula Gause: I don’t know if we’re living in a downward spiral. I don’t want to believe that because I’m a very positive, optimistic person. The problem is that with the pandemic and then with the war we have two world events, each of which has many other negative effects: the energy shortage, which currently seems to be easing. Then high inflation, the supply chain issue and so on. We are experiencing an overlapping of crises that are also exacerbating each other. It’s a scale of crisis that we haven’t had in decades.

teleschau: Are you worried?

Gundula Gause: You can always worry, but they don’t lead to anything good. You always have to work on solutions if you want to improve the world. Unfortunately, we’re not very good at recognizing successes. In Germany we have been able to live in prosperity and at a breathtakingly high level for decades. Many envy us for it. We have a great social system and also a lot of voluntary work in society. We shouldn’t make ourselves small.

teleschau: Where should we improve?

Gundula Gause: The social gap is widening. Poor and rich move away from each other, that’s not good. We should invest a lot more in education. We should also urgently improve our infrastructure: the renovation of the rail traffic routes and the improvement of the digital equipment, which is better in other countries. Germany already has big tasks ahead of it, but it also has more power than some people think.

teleschau: What would have to happen?

Gundula Gause: What worries me is the high level of debt. We were on our way to getting a handle on them – before the disasters came. In fact, this is a high mortgage for our children and grandchildren that we are building right now. What I wish for otherwise is a positive jolt that goes through society. Former Federal President Roman Herzog once called for it. I still think: Yes, something like that could make a big difference. If we approached things positively and constructively together, many things would be possible.

teleschau: As a newswoman, are you allowed to ask for something like that?

Gundula Gause: No, news is neutral. I have to do my job completely factually, neutrally and without my own interests. So do we. I am answering you as a private person.

teleschau: That means the private person Gundula Gause remains an optimist, but the news editor is not allowed to follow that?

Gundula Gause: Maybe the private optimist is due to the job: Anyone who spends the whole day with bad news needs an opposing force in life. But no, it’s my nature and my conviction that together we can achieve a lot of positive things and we have to try to do so.

teleschau: From big politics back to you. Would you have liked to have taken on the job of “anchor woman” at “heute journal”? Sometime in the last 30 years?

Gundula Gause: If so, then others would have had to decide. I’m very accepted in my job – that’s great feedback I’m getting. I have no problem with anything else. Especially not since I was recently able to show myself differently in other formats outside of “heute journal”. I like the “journal” very much – it is like a beloved family member for me. Above all, you do what is good for the big picture. News is my life – besides my family, of course.

teleschau: One last personal question, you are considered the woman with the clearest articulation on German television. Have you completed any special speaking training?

Gundula Gause: Thank you for the compliment, I wasn’t aware of that. However, that’s what my “heute journal” boss, Wulf Schmiese, said a few days ago. I didn’t know that I would attract attention (laughs). No, I moved often as a child, so a dialect never stuck with me. I came to ZDF when I was 23 or 24 years old. I got a bit of speech training back then, but after a short while I knew I could do it. I haven’t “trained” since then. Your own voice is always a gift.

The original of this post “30 years of the “Heute Journal”: When asked about a hairstyle, Gundula Gause knows no fun” comes from Teleschau.