Peter R. de Vries is still fighting for his life. That is what RTL program director Peter van der Vorst said in the broadcast of RTL Boulevard, which tonight is dominated by the attack on the crime reporter. “To say that out loud is still incredible,” said Van der Vorst. “We all pray for a miracle.”
“This is a special broadcast, tonight will also be a difficult broadcast,” said presenter Marieke Elsinga at the beginning. Yesterday she was in the studio of the program with De Vries, where De Vries is often a guest.
“We were here last night to chat after the game,” said co-presenter Luuk Ikink about last night. “Peter is someone who leaves quickly. He went out the door and walked to the parking garage. Behind him were some colleagues.”
At one point, an employee of the program stormed into the studio, Ikink said. “And he screams loudly: Peter was shot. Huge panic among us. People started running, wanted to call. We just didn’t know what to do for a minute. For a minute. We then walked in that direction with a number of colleagues, to see if we could do something, we know a lot.”
It all went very quickly. “The police were already there, there are also a number of totally distressed colleagues who were very nicely received by the local residents. They were still completely through it. We walked back, you can’t do anything either. You really want to do something, but that won’t work.”
The makers of the program stayed together in the studio at Leidseplein last night. “You are defeated and I think there is that defeat in a lot of newsrooms. Because Peter sometimes appeared on TV. And I feel from all the reactions you get that the defeat is everywhere,” said Ikink.
A reporter from RTL Boulevard, who follows the state visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, is also emotionally affected by the attack:
Program director Van der Vorst describes hearing the news as “a punch in the stomach”. He immediately got into the car after hearing the news. “This is the nightmare scenario you never want to experience. We stayed in the studio all evening, waiting for news about Peter’s condition. But also to connect with each other, to connect. Peter is here for all of us very dear colleague. He is a very sweet, warm, funny man. Very involved in everything that happens in someone’s life.”
There is also a huge blow in the professional field, said Van der Vorst, who himself previously RTL Boulevard presented. “Peter is one of the very best journalists in the Netherlands. Determined, heroic, decisive, the bottom stone has to be raised. He stands for free speech, for independent journalism. He is the one who does that here too. Boulevard has propagated.”
Also Albert Verlinde, who sat at the table for years at RTL Boulevard, spoke highly of him on the broadcast. “I am very emotional today about Peter, about you, and about the team. There are also people from this team who have said: he can’t lie there alone. Who went there from the studio. And that made me so unbelievable That’s love, that’s respect and that’s family.”