André van Duin
Television, radio and theatre
Van Duin was discovered in 1964 when he won the AVRO talent contest show Nieuwe Oogst, which gave him the opportunity to debut on television alongside singing father and daughter Willy and Willeke Alberti.
From 1967 onwards, André van Duin made regular appearances on Dutch television and took apprenticeship at comedians Snip & Snap's theatre-shows. He did his homework well and in the 1970s he set up his own Revue with Frans van Dusschoten (the straight man) and Corrie van Gorp. These shows were televised on TROS and in 1975 Van Duin won an award for Dag Dag Heerlijke Lach
In 1972, André van Duin began the radio program Dik Voormekaar Show. First with Radio Noordzee Internationaal, later with the NCRV and TROS. Surprisingly he involved his then technician, Ferry de Groot, in the show, becoming the successful character "Meneer de Groot" (Mister de Groot). The show continued to air as recently as 2009.
In 1989 Van Duin, alongside stable-mate Ron Brandsteder, was taken over by TV Tien, the commercial station that never happened due to transmission problems; instead they ended up joining at RTL being team-captains in Wie ben ik ? hosted by Caroline Tensen. Between 1993 and 1999 Van Duin made television shows for RTL; one notable moment was when he mocked Tensen's apology-themed programme Het spijt me by driving a wedge between Tensen and Brandsteder. The latter knew that something suspicious was going on and embarked on the warpath accusing Van Duin of playing divide and conquer.
In 2007 the André's Nieuwe Revue-tour was launched; the long-neglected Belgium was visited in November 2008 for five shows in Antwerp.
After 18 years with RTL, Van Duin happily returned to his beloved TROS. In 2009 he made a new series of Dik Voormekaar Shows.
In 1972 André van Duin debuted as a serious actor in Het Meisje Met De Blauwe Hoed (The Girl With The Blue Hat) playing an army recruit.
In 1981 he pushed the envelope by starring in his own movie; Ik ben Joep Meloen is the story of a piano tuner who sees his Concerto Grosso turned down, the rent expires, the love of his life marries another and he can't even arrange his own assassination. Instead Joep Meloen takes gangsters' advice and jumps in the canal, only to save a troubled singer, played by Corrie van Gorp, from committing suicide. There is still one problem; the gangsters have changed their minds and decided to kill him after all.
Ik Ben Joep Meloen premiered late 1981 and did reasonably well.
In 1982 Van Duin worked on De Boezemvriend, partly an adaptation of the Danny Kaye movie The Inspector General which portrays charlatan dentist Fred 'Pas du Pain' van der Zee mistaken for Napoleon's delegate. Several celebrities made an appearance (including Connie Breukhoven as Mercedes and the late Andre Hazes who runs the restaurant where Fred avoids the bill by eating meats until he drops).
De Boezemvriend premiered late 1982 but unlike Joep Meloen it was considered a failure. Van Duin didn't enjoy making movies as much as he enjoyed making television programmes and hasn't returned to the big screen since.
The wacky side
As a singer, André van Duin has quite a number of popular songs to his name. He has had hits such as Het bananenlied, Angelique, De tamme boerenzoon, File, Doorgaan and Willy Alberti, bedankt. He has also had some hits that grew from stage performances such as Er staat een paard in de gang (1981) and Ik heb hele grote bloemkolen'.
In January 1976, Van Duin had another massive hit with Willempie. Parents to mentally challenged children however considered it too offensive, even though the song wasn't intended to. Willempie was number 1 on AVRO's 'Top Pop'-chart for three weeks, but the song was banned while controversy lasted. Van Duin escaped legal actions by apologising on 'Top Pop' at the end of the month.
A year later Andre van Duin released the more neutral Ta Ta Ta; TV-appearances were lightened up by playing a conductor to a choir of penguins and nuns.
In the 1990s he had one of his last major hits with Pizzalied (Effe Wachten) (no. 1 late 1993).
The serious side
In 1976 Van Duin released And're Andre (close translation: The Other Andre), an album stripped of wackiness (although File, a roadblock-themed cover version of Morris Albert's Feelings is a slight compromise) that became the first of five volumes. Besides And're Andre, Van Duin went on to release Wij (Us), Wij Twee (Two of Us), an album full of Perry Como-translations and Recht Uit Het Hart (Straight From The Heart).
His 1980s fun hits were interrupted by tributes to the sunny weather (including a cover version of Because I Love You) and durable friendship (a duet with Willeke Alberti).
The TV-special that accompanied the 1985 volume of And're Andre triggered off the WWF-promoting Animal Crackers-series.
2010; new album, biography and compilation-show
In March 2010, Van Duin released Dubbel, a 2CD made up of both serious and wacky songs (with the mother's day-tribute "Moederdag" another compromise and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" becoming the cattle-themed "Alle Koeien"). Embarking on a promotion-trip he made a 30 March appearance on weekday-talkshow De Wereld Draait Door (where he announced the comeback of Animal Crackers), the next day followed by shocking revelations from Jan Wijdbeens, a journalist who interviewed celebrities for Van Duin's RTL-shows. TROS aired the TV-special Andre van Duin; Pur Sang on Easter Monday 5 April.
Ferry de Groot is currently writing a Van Duin biography.
In October, Van Duin took over the Saturday-evening slot from Paul de Leeuw. In these compilation-shows Wijdbeens visits celebrities asking them for their favourite Van Duin-moments and handing out packages of gadgets from the heyday.
Andre van Duin had a longtime relationship with Wim van der Pluym; they split in the 1990s, and shortly thereafter van der Pluym died. Van Duin found a new love in Martin Elferink whom he married on 23 December 2006, ten days after their plans were announced.