By SIMON LEWIS
He says his new British tour will be a ‘hilarious and emotional ride through his life via song and dance’. If it’s half as entertaining as this interview, we’ll take a season ticket…
There’s a 2007 book entitled Did David Hasselhoff End The Cold War? I’ve just shown it to the man in question, in a chilly canteen by a north London canal. He puts down his plastic coffee cup and eyes it suspiciously.
‘Is it supposed to be a joke?’
Actually, no. The book makes the point that Hasselhoff’s 1989 song Looking For Freedom (No 1 in the West German charts for eight weeks) was heard by East Germans on the radio and became a symbol for what they didn’t have. Hasselhoff brightens.
‘Well, everybody made a big joke of it,’ he beams.
‘A silly magazine called the National Enquirer said I was upset there was no picture of me at Checkpoint Charlie. Completely fabricated. But as it turned out, I went to East Germany this year and they were saying, “Thank you for Mauerfall” – the fall of the Wall.
‘I thought they were kidding. But they said, “Do you realise that the first English words out of our mouths were ‘I’ve been looking for freedom’?
‘We were behind the Wall and we could not speak English, but we heard this song about freedom.” It was a psychological boost for everybody. It sold 11 million copies. One man can make a difference – that was the Knight Rider motto. And I did! I felt like a spy!’
It may sound odd for a 59-year-old man in a leather jacket, white vest and reading glasses drinking from a plastic cup to be holding forth about ending the Cold War. But you’d expect nothing less from David Hasselhoff: actor, singer, raconteur, talent-show judge, pantomime villain (Captain Hook at the Bristol Hippodrome) and all-round force of nature. We’re here because he’s touring a one-man show called An Evening With David Hasselhoff. Shall we crack on?
‘Crack on, baby! Crack on.’
What’s in the show?