Movies & Series

Are marbles in Marble Mania the next world success of John de Mol?

Through Marble Mania The Netherlands can just fall under the spell of… marbles. In any case, a totally new concept by John de Mol looks very promising Subway al. We spoke to the man who provides the commentary in his characteristic way, Jack van Gelder.

“Good afternoon, you talk to Marble Mania. ” Jack van Gelder, for example, answers the phone as Subway his number has ‘dialed’. The legendary football and sports in general reporter is a marble commentator from tonight. ‘Bergkamp, ​​Bergkamp, ​​Bergkamp, ​​Berrugkaaaaaamp’ is exchanged for ‘There it rolls! There it rolls! ‘. Or something. The program can be seen at SBS6 for seven Thursdays.

Is Marble Mania Chasing The Voice?

We are not talking about just any marble program. Marble Mania has a lot in it to become a great success. On SBS6, but who knows also in the world in the coming years. It is another totally new program from John de Mol (Talpa Entertainment Productions), as he previously ‘did’ with Big Brother and The voice of Holland. His invention has already been sold to Germany. The eastern neighbors record in the same studio in Baarn as where the Dutch version was shot.

Every week three well-known Dutch people compete on the most fantastic marble courts for 5,000, 10,000 and 15,000 euros for a charity of their choice (‘it’s all about the marbles!’). With red, blue and yellow marbles they try to win extra marbles for lucky courses on agility courses. Think of mega-sized courses with themes such as Formula 1, the jungle, a Lunapark and a Metropolis. On a final course with no less than 6000 marbles, the money will eventually be divided. What we see: presenter Winston Gerschtanowitz and participants who are crazy about rolling toys. And who we hear: as said, Jack van Gelder. The most famous voice of the Dutch national team ever and has now been working as a talk show host and presenter at Ziggo Sport for over five years.

Marble Mania is above all fun

The Subwayreporter speaks to Van Gelder for the second time and – how crazy almost – both times were and are not about sports. Earlier he spoke about his role in the musical The Producers.

A photo of Jack van Gelder with Frank Evenblij in Peptalk
Jack van Gelder with his sidekick Frank Even See in the studio of Peptalk. Photo: / Jeroen Jumelet

Do you always answer your phone like this these days?
Van Gelder: “No, haha. I knew you would call. ”

We’re not talking about sports again, although …
Marble Mania is fun anyway, with a sports element in it. You have winners and losers. The great thing is that there are only winners at the end, because the participants donate 30,000 euros to charities each time. That’s a win-win situation. But the best part is the fun and mutual battle with each other and the ‘oh’ and ‘ah’ about the beautiful marble tracks. ”

Nobody wants to lose in Marble Mania

After seeing the first images, Marble Mania has a lot in it to become a success.
“I just hope so, you never know. It is tackled grandly, with jobs of fabulous quality. But it remains to be seen whether the viewers will catch on. There are cameras everywhere, every detail has been thought of and the participants always have something to do with each other. And nobody wants to lose of course… ”

A photo from Marble Mania's studio
Marble Mania’s studio with an agility track.

Are the jobs of the two brothers, one of which is autistic? And where the latter already caused a furore with what he came up with?
“No. You mean Jelle and Dion Bakker and the idea is derived from Jelles Marble Runs. There is excellent contact with this and Jelle will also be broadcast. The TV format originated from his ideas. His YouTube channel will be in Marble Mania also come forward. ”

Jack van Gelder and John de Mol

How did Talpa end up with you?
“I have known John de Mol for a long time. Some crazy way I never managed to do a collaboration. Of course I was always good at the NOS and I enjoyed what I did. Now John said things like “this is really for you” and “I need you.” When he showed me sample images, I thought it would be a lot of fun to do. John he still had to work with Ziggo Sport, but my employer gave it his word. ”

Are we going to hear your enthusiastic manner as we know you from football matches?
“That’s my style, isn’t it. With a bang here and a little tension there. You can hear me as I am. You will not get something scripted where I read what is happening, but my way of doing things. I have been completely released for my report. ”

A photo of Marble Mania presenter Winston Gerschtanowitz
Winston Gerschtanowitz is the presenter of Marble Mania. Photo: William Rutten

Do you perform live while the participants play marbles?
“No, no, that is not possible. I’ll comment after editing. It is impossible to do otherwise, because it also contains ‘snips’. I only wanted to see the track beforehand, but not know how the marbles rolled off the participants. The result is still unknown to me and exciting. ”

Jack van Gelder in the schoolyard

Did little Jack also play marbles in the schoolyard in the past?
“Yeah, yeah. On his knees, in shorts. And then sliding your finger at an angle of 90 degrees to maneuver the marbles as well as possible. And so try to reclaim the marbles that you might have lost to your friends the day before. We all had our own marble bag, I remember. And then you came home and put your marbles on the table with the words ‘look what I have’. ”

Was that marble bag often empty and did you have to nag your parents for new ones?
“Of course, you sometimes ran out of supplies. Or you lost your most beautiful marbles. Of course you don’t want a bag full of miserable marbles. ”

A picture of the marble run Lunapark in Marble Mania
Marble run Lunapark.

Marbles is a game that returns to the streets every few years …
“Yes, that can happen again now. Plus supermarket has dived into it, with millions of marbles and marble tracks for the children to build. The Vriendenloterij is involved. There will also be betting forms in newspapers and online for download. The viewers at home then predict whether yellow, red or blue will win and have to put an achievement in return. For example, if your son loses, he has to wash your car for four weeks. Or that if you lose, you have to do the shopping for your wife for six weeks, things like that. That makes Marble Mania complete, I think. It’s a competition for a good cause, a fun game and with a wink. ”

‘Oh’, ‘ah-‘ and ‘ooh feeling’

Getting very fanatic and enthusiastic about a few marbles, that’s it, isn’t it?
“Yes that is it. And of course you have your favorites. That you hope at home on the couch that Giovanni van Bronckhorst wins and that the one next to you is for Wesley Sneijder. And a third calls Ronald de Boer, giving you the ‘oh’, ‘ah’ and ‘ooh feeling’. ”

How fanatic are the participants?
“Very fanatic, but in a fun way. They can see that it is a game, but nobody really lets it be a game. Everyone wants to win and show with the games of skill that he or she can do the best. It is competitive, but there is also a bit of malicious pleasure, teasing and a sense of superiority when there is a win. ”

Is a second season also possible without celebrities?
“Could, could. But cheering for or against a familiar face is also a factor. Otherwise you have to explain who everyone is before the game starts. For the time being it will still happen to famous Dutch people, I think. First, let’s see how that is received. Who knows, at some point clubs will play against each other. The footballers against a brass band or the canteen attendants. There are certainly options. ”

In the meantime, you also present Peptalk and Rondo at Ziggo Sport. You are not sitting still at your respected age …
“Yes, that’s my job haha. And also the Champions League. I don’t want to sit still at all, even though I’ve just turned 70. I recently spoke to Marco van Basten about it. I told him that I would be going to Ziggo for three years and that I will be there for six years next September. And that I still have an idea of ​​what to do next. Marco said: You have to keep doing what you like. He then referred to his ankle injury that forced him to stop doing what he liked the most, playing football. I agree with him, because I am far from tired of this work. ”

And otherwise you can always stick marbles to it for a few more seasons.
“Or go through the country with my bald marble.”

Who is participating in Marble Mania?

Would Marble Mania become more fun to watch on TV than football in empty stadiums?
“Noooo, it’s both fun. One, football, has major interests and people who have all kinds of emotions. Marble Mania is just fun and enjoying something nice at a time when people are becoming incredibly aggressive towards each other or taking positions. Playing marbles is about relaxation and laughter. ”

These are the participants: Ronald de Boer, Leontien van Moorsel, Kjeld Nuis, Frank Dane, Inge de Bruijn, Nick Schilder, Simon Keizer, Kees Tol, Wesley Sneijder, Sander Lantinga, Hélène Hendriks, Hans Kraay jr., Toine van Peperstraten, the men from StukTV, Wietze de Jager, Anouk Hoogendijk, John de Wolf, Dennis van der Geest and Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

From tonight (21 January) Marble Mania can be seen weekly on Thursday at 8.30 pm on SBS6 and on You can also find the program on Facebook.

Also read: The Sky is the Limit for Dionne, but on SBS6 you see success with blood, sweat and tears

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Marble Mania outing for Jack van Gelder, cheering loudly for rolling marbles


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