The art and literatureAuthor Peter van Kamp presented his new work “Kinderen Van Zeppos” today. In the book, he delves into the past of some of the then-BRT youth soap operas that glued generations of Flemish people to the screen on a Wednesday afternoon. The tradition began in 1955 and lasted until 1984, but most of the focus in the book was on the “Golden Years”, which began with “Capetean Zeppos” in 1964 and continued until 1973 with “De Cat”.
For the book, Van Kamp delved into the VRT archive for two years and researched its most legendary youth series, including “Kapitein Zeppos,” “Fabian van Fallada,” “De Kat,” and “Axel Nort.” The Youth series was one of the first successes of public radio and also formed the basis for many international youth series on foreign channels. The entire team behind the series would raise the bar every year from the 1960s onwards, thus becoming a pioneer of Flemish fiction on television. “A lot of Flemish actors like Johnny Foners and Nora Tilley will appear in youth soap operas, and some have stuck to their ‘role’ for years,” says Van Kamp. “When Rick Andres passed away earlier this year, there was a lot of backlash, because for many people over the age of 40, he was forever the environmental superhero Die Cat (not Doctor Walter of Thuis).”
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to speak to Rick, but dozens of other actors and staff did, including Nora and Johnny before they sadly passed away. I hope to bring in the book a mixture of nostalgia and fun behind-the-scenes stories.”
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The book paints a complete picture of the television period through many anecdotes, and many previously unpublished images keep the memory alive. What does the royal family have to do with the Zippos sailing car? Who became the most expensive actor in Flanders because of youth soap operas and how could he be roughly “Florian van Valada”? You can discover it all in the book.
Children of Zeppos by Peter van Kamp was published by Davidsfonds and is now in stores.
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