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An interview with the moderator about work, love, travelling and old age...

Fast confession - Libor Bouček: Time passes the identically for everyone, you can never turn the clock back

Karolína Lišková
12.Dec 2017
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7 minutes

He is always ready. His voice and face are well-known to the public. Libor Bouček is one of the best moderators in the Czech Republic. But he worked hard to establish his career. He also uses his time very effectively. Even in an interview with Luxury Life Prague, during which he told us that instead of making a resolution he follows a long-term plan, which everyone should have in his opinion.

Libor, I haven’t heard from you from a long time. What are you doing?

I’m working of course. I am doing the same things. I am in television, I present daily on the radio and occasionally work somewhere in the evening.

How do you choose your jobs?

Depending on what I enjoy. I enjoy a lot of things. I really enjoyed Fort Boyard for instance. But, as I say, I am incredibly thankful to fate that I only do things that I enjoy.

What was the last thing you filmed?

I finished filming another series of Máme rádi Česko, I will be moderating Kapky Naděje on 15 December, I am doing an excellent thing on 16 December, which only happens once every two years – Eurovision Young Dancers, which is on the same principles as the Eurovision Song Contest, but concerns young dancers who advance through the rounds until they reach the grand finale, which is an asset for about twenty eight countries. We did it in 2015 in Pilsen and now we are doing it again two years later. This is the first time in history that Czech Television, or any television, has broadcasted this two years running. And on 21 December I have Sportsman Of The Year, which I am also doing for the second time. I enjoy it, as it is a very pleasant event. I love sports, either actively or passively. Sport is fair and I look forward to it. That is all until the end of the year, and then many, many other things.

I have never seen you actively take part in a sport.

Why would you see me doing that? We’re not such great friends that you would see me do sports. (laughter)

I mean that celebrities play tennis or football publically, linked to a charity for instance...

Do you dance, when you moderate an event like that?

No, no I don’t dance. I do sports when I have time. I play golf, tennis, go running.....

Do you run about Vinohrady?

Yes, I live here.

I see you are up to your eyes in work. But Christmas is coming. Are your preparing for the holidays? Do you bake?

Good grief, I don’t bake, I think that’s a woman’s job. I don’t even know how, so I don’t bake, but I already have a Christmas tree.

So soon? Do you have an artificial one?

No a live one! Don’t worry, it’ll last until Christmas, but you have to take care of it. And I do that.

How do you deal with presents?

Everyone knows who delivers the presents...

Ok, what about New Year’s Eve?

It will soon be New Year’s Eve, which happens every year. That’s quite interesting, that it comes every year. (laughter)

You’re right, I also try to ignore it every year. But plenty of people like New Year’s Eve, they make resolutions, what about you?

I’m a big boy, who just had his 37th birthday, so I don’t need to make resolutions, because I am incapable of keeping them. So I won’t be making any this year either.

Why are you unable to keep your resolutions?

I just don’t like them. I like plans. I make plans for my professional life. I think that people should have something like that. They should know where they are going. In their careers and their lives. But resolutions.....When a person decides to do something, why wait until the 1st? Why not do it straight away? I think its stupid, to plan a resolution and wait for some date, when I could begin right away.....that seems silly to me. When a person has a goal, he should start working on its straight away. Why delay? I am a great enemy of resolutions. I simply follow my plans.

What plans? Can you be specific?

I can be specific by rote. They are short-term plans and long-term plans. People can make these short-term plans for the year, so that they can find time for some travel and for enjoying themselves, and then there are long-term plans, which you frequently make idealistically and you have to map that a journey leads to your goals, which may have many crossroads and branches, but I think that everyone should have a long-term plan.

Luxusní byt v centru Prahy 221m
Luxusní byt v centru Prahy 221m, Praha 1

And what is your long-term plan?

If I told you mine it would seem very weird. I think that I would rather liken it to something. For instance to athletes who begin at six or seven years, or start taking a sport seriously and say to themselves that they would like to win a gold Olympic medal. There is a long road full of various obstacles leading to this goal. And of course you may not achieve it. But the journey is worth it. In my profession, a goal like this can be set.

You have become one of the best moderators in the country over a fairly short period.....

Over a short period? I started moderating in 1994 on Czech Radio, in 1998 I interpreted for David Copperfield, in 2004 I had the first reality show on television. I don’t think that is a short period. I think that is a standard period. My first major live broadcast, if I don’t count Vyvolené, which was a phenomenon of its time and the most viewed programme that I worked on at the time (autumn 2005), was in 2010. That was when I worked on Czech Miss and Slavík. It may not seem like it, but time flies.

You are right. But is there something else you would like to moderate and the time is not yet ripe?

A lot. But I cannot think of anything specific. I rather think that you should maintain a standard after you reach 35 and not ease up on the quality and disregard these things. I think this is much more important than being too idealistic. The media world is so dynamic that new things are continuously appearing and maybe there will be something I would like to do, but it doesn’t exist yet. But there are beautiful formats, which are available elsewhere in the world and we are still waiting for them to arrive.

You mentioned Fiji in the quick confession. Why does this place fascinate you so much?

Apart from being in the most picturesque part of the world, which is the South Pacific, which is spectacular. Anyone who sees it from close up has to fall in love with it. Fiji is an organised country in its way, which is on the up and up and is very dynamic. People are extremely pleasant there. Maybe because they are in the middle of the ocean. And I like the type of national pride, which they retain. Each corner is different. A complete paradise.

Do you think we Czechs are not proud?

We are sort of Švejks (a character in a novel by Jaroslav Hašek), who make fun of everything. I think that national pride is a frequently misused term in this country, particularly at a time when it is assigned to various movements and parties. But I think that we have something to be proud of and when you walk through Prague....I always tell everyone to try being a tourist for a while and take a walk through Prague. They will find out that it is one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful, cities in the world. This is where the pride comes in. They should be glad to be here.

Are you planning to travel anywhere specific?

I must travel through South America. I simply have to. This is on my wish list. I don’t know when, it is a little more complicated there, because the ideal weather is when it is winter here. And that is when I am at work.

But you are always at work.

Not always. In July I don’t do anything. That is the silly season. The holidays, when I try to take some time off, I want to read some more books and learn things.

What do you like reading?

Something all the time. From detective novels, through biographies, to factual literature, particularly 20th century history, and also economic articles...

You are so versatile, you don’t often see that. Is there any area you really don’t understand or that doesn’t interest you at all?

I think that a moderator should at least give the impression that he is aware of everything, at least superficially. I cannot say that there is an area that does not interest me. I think....I don’t know much about medicine and the science of the human body is beyond me.

You state that when people say they are stressed, they have no idea what stress really is. What does stress mean to you. What are you nervous about?

In my opinion, if someone is a neurosurgeon and has a difficult operation in front of him, where it is up to him whether the patient lives or dies, that is something I consider stressful. But my work.....? No lives depend on me. Thank God. That is the advantage of my profession.

Ok, but even so. Clearly you don’t operate. I would be nervous of simultaneous translations for instance.

That may be stressful. Btu when I imagine that neurosurgeon, then this seems very banal.

What about your girlfriend?

Everything is fine, we have been together for 3.5 years and everything is as it should be.

Ok, and what about how you, as a man, are always being attended by make-up artists and costume designers in television. Do you care about beauty on your time off? Do you have cosmetic treatments, take a manicure...?

No, no. But I consider the fact that my girlfriend has taught me to use face cream to be a great benefit to my beauty. This is one of her enormous contributions. Face cream. Hydrating face cream, I don’t know the brand. Don’t ask me. But I think that she has already chosen an anti-wrinkle cream for me......You can’t stop time, I probably need it.

Do you feel old?

I don’t know.....I recently celebrated my birthday and I actually ran away. I was working. Actually I don’t want to comment. (laughter)

I probably do. I think that everyone feels that they could do things differently, but that is normal. Time applies to everyone the same and you can’t turn the clock back.

Do you feel famous?

No. No one stops me in the street. Sometimes they want to take a photograph and that is nice. But, whenever someone says they are famous I tell them to drive west for two hours, get out in Ambeg and they will see what the truth is.

Thank you for the interview.

Fast confession:

Do you believe in life after death?


Who is the best Czech moderator?

I don’t know.

Name three famous people you would like to meet.

Ehmm... Jimmy Fallon, Tony Blair, Kevin Spacey.

What event would you never moderate?

Political, in the sense that I would be unable to identify with something that was against my conviction.

How do you contribute to environmental protection?

I sort waste and, if possible, I travel by public transport.

Facebook or Instagram?

Neither one, I do have a Facebook account and Instagram, but I don’t know how to use them.

Name three of your positive characteristics?

I don’t know, let someone else name them. I think I don’t have any, but I try to be punctual and professional.

Your recipe for managing stressful situations?

Remain objective and realise that there are always more important things. Anyone who says that they are stressed has no idea what stress is.

How do you come to terms with the stupidity of other people?

I can come to terms with anything given time, time levels all. Stupidity usually goes away.

What would you like to find under the Christmas tree this year?

To laugh from the heart with my family.

Adoption of a Romani child, yes or no?


What would you give as a Christmas present to the current Czech president?

Whatever he wants. Probably books. A wonderful biography of Regan has recently been published. Something that would give him pleasure.

Which country have you been most fascinated by during your travels?

By falling in love with it – Fiji. And I have been enthralled by something different to anything anyone else has every seen – that is Tuvalu.

What did you want to be as a child?

A bus driver for the public transport system.

What would you ask me?

Nothing, I’m too shy to ask questions.
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