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© Fazekas IstvánWhat would you think if you were just a simple newspaper reader and you saw a an interview with the...

© Fazekas István
What would you think if you were just a simple newspaper reader and you saw a an interview with the editor of Playboy in HVG? Would you think it was just a silly season story, and the editors wanted your help getting in touch with one of the women featured in the magazine?

The latter suggestion would never cross my mind. But it would occur to me that the subject of the interview works in an interesting place, especially since he did something completely different before. That is, it might even be exciting enough to make the columns of HVG....

Ok, lets take that point. Maybe not everyone is as restrained as we are. Some could even do very well out of your paper...

Are you suggesting a deal? Please, it is my duty to protect these ladies. I am godfather to those citizens who apply to be playmates, even if certain of those duties contrast with my upbringing.

But what if somebody is not satisfied? What if they call your boss?

My boss is an Irishwoman. She is the managing director of the company, and there have been occasions where I have had to discuss with her ladies who have been followed too closely.

And you do this in a rational, matter-of-fact way?

I was most disturbed by the fact that a man looks at women in a different way. There was a cover where we had a long argument over the eye colour of the woman who would appear.

But if we confine ourselves to looking at the organisations where you have worked, would it not be fair to mention your professional promiscuity. Which job was the high point for you?

You've got me there. Being Moscow correspondent was the best, because I interviewed Gorbachev twice, and CNN took my report on Lenin lookalikes. But Big Brother, This is the one, RTL's Morning programme and Manoeuvre were also high points. I have little to complain about.

Second part of the portrait (Oldaltörés)

But these are genres, different productions. But what was the content that only you could offer to an expectant world?

Even if I never came up with anything like that, on the fifth anniversary of the putsch against Gorbachev, I was able to interview every man who was involved, which was quite an achievement. I drank vodka with Yenayev, the then vice-president, who wanted to take power temporarily.

And after all this, you had no reservations about lending your name to productions that more refined audiences treat with disdain?

Absolutely not. I was very curious and very vain. Anyone who tells you he is not vain in this profession is a liar. If 2m people watch a programme, and if it becomes the subject of office chatter, then that's quite an achievement.

And you were not concerned when some of the contestants on which your reality shows depended were unable to deal with becoming famous around the country? There were even reports of suicide attempts.

I never felt guilty, since we did not invite the contestants - they applied. But when Evi, who got into a truly difficult situation, won her HUF10m, I said to her: "Lock it up so even you can't get hold of it!" I went on holiday, and when I got back, I discovered that half the money had already disappeared. I liked Evi a lot, as I did the others, since I lived with them.

What did your middle-class, conservative parents say to all this, and especially to your work at Playboy?

I take my father to our events sometimes. He's 67, but he's pleased to be there. And he's very proud of me.

You must be in a difficult situation with regard to events and public appearances. If you claim to be indifferent to the dozens of girls all trying to stir up desire, then it is fair to ask what you are doing in the judge's seat. But if you give in to the opportunities, that's the end of your marriage. How do you deal with all that at home?


I'm a man, of course, and it was difficult to beat back down the man inside me at the beginning. But if I weren't careful, then I'd have lots of accidents.

It must be hard controlling yourself all the time. Now we'll discover that you know no more about women than the average man. Or are there areas in which you have expertise?


I may have a better idea of what kind of women people want to see. The most beautiful woman is not necessarily the most saleable. The secret is to put a woman on the cover whom everyone would secretly like to try out at least once.

We're learning. But how impressive can you be? Could you imagine a serious politician consenting to an interview with you?

Well, I certainly wouldn't be appropriate for that task now. I just consume politics nowadays. If Ferenc Gyurcsany were to give an interview to Playboy, I'd get someone else to do it. But I've tried to get him, and I've tried with Ibolya David as well. In vain, thus far. But I haven't given up.

ANDRÁS LINDNER  - ZOLTÁN HORVÁTH
hvg.hu English version

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hvg.hu English version

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hvg.hu English version

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hvg.hu English version

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