Erik Van Looy (61) about the latest candidate ‘The smartest person in the world’: “This man is my idol”

READ ALSO. Why Alex Agnew Finally Said Yes to ‘The Smartest Man’

Starstruck. This is the best way to describe how Erik Van Looy (61), a long-time presenter of The smartest person in the world, will soon feel when Toby Alderweireld (34) sits in his quiz chair. “I can’t believe my luck that he wanted to participate The smartest person. This man colored my year. What am I saying, my century. Do I sound manic?”

A little, but given the context it’s understandable. Van Looy has been a fierce Royal Antwerp supporter for many years. The fact that his team was crowned national champion this year is partly thanks to Alderweireld. “I am 61 years old and yet I have not experienced the previous title. But Toby has now achieved that,” says the quiz master. “Yes, he is my idol now.”

Be honest, is that why you asked him to participate?

“Anyway. But also for those who are not a fan of Antwerp: Toby is the man of the past football year.”

And so he has a busy schedule. How can that be combined with the recordings?

“His agenda was very complex, but miraculously there was one window of opportunity. A period in which it was possible for him and it also happened to work out well with the recording period. And of course it helps that he’s not a Red Devil (Alderweireld said goodbye to the national team in March of this year, ed.) is more. If that were still the case, there would be no participation. That is impossible in terms of planning.”

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Then you also have to want to take quizzes. Did you have to put a lot of effort into convincing him?

“A little bit anyway. Fortunately, he is a fan of the program. I once went to his house to train and even there he laughed at my jokes. That is good news. He’s clearly looking forward to it.”

Football players are also used to performing under stress, which helps.

“Football players are always under pressure. Week after week. I think Toby Alderweireld just wants to relax. Although, the quiz also gives him stress.”

How high do you think his chances are?

“I can’t say that as a quizmaster. In fact, everyone has a chance to win the game. A lot also has to do with luck and tactics.”

Like in football.

“Toby is a master in tactics and he has already brought luck to Antwerp. I certainly expect that his participation will be a lot of fun.”

How will you feel, as a big fan?

“Of course, I remain a serious quiz master first and foremost. He is a candidate like all the others, so I am not going to count any wrong answers as correct. (laughs) But my heart might beat a little faster. Really, I’d rather have Toby Alderweireld in the quiz than Lionel Messi, Joe Biden or Leonardo DiCaprio. I am that happy.”

READ ALSO. Fien Germijns participates in ‘The smartest person in the world’: “You’re not going to write that, are you, the other candidates will soon get ideas”

Exactly when ‘The Smartest Person in the World’ starts will be announced later.


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