Legendary radio host Katalin Kondor lives alone after being fired: “I’m not an expert on the male soul”


In the more accepting hemisphere of the Earth, being over seventy is no age. TV channels abroad are happy to employ more experienced presenters. Here it is different. A fifty-year-old woman is simply “aged”, and we hardly ever see people over sixty as presenters. Katalin Kondor was fired from Kossuth Radio on her 62nd birthday, she didn’t even have to go in the next day.

He hosted the Hungarian Rádió’s program Krónika

“At that time, the retirement age was 62. My birthday present from the managers at the time was a resignation letter says Katalin. – I admit, it didn’t go well that they sent me away, while they could have remained 10-15 years older than me. That’s politics. With us. Of course, to this day, my heart skips a beat when I pass the building of my former workplace on Bródy Sándor Street. I haven’t been sitting idle in recent years, I still work a lot, but not at Magyar Rádio.”

He lives alone in Buda

He is rumored to be a workaholic and a maximalist even as a retiree. “I lived for my profession, I really liked doing it. For years I woke up at three in the morning because I was already in the studio at five. Radio was my real medium. I’m really a workaholic, even when it comes to cleaning the house. I have no husband, no children, I live alone, but not lonely. I have many friends, I’ve traveled halfway around the world, I regularly go to theater performances, exhibitions, concerts, and I’m also a music fanatic.”

In recent years, she has written books, hosted various events, and never strayed far from journalism. “I regularly write for Magyar Hírlap, the Trianoni Szemle and the magazine Aracs. But my true love will always be radio. I hated seeing myself on TV again. I was not satisfied with my appearance. In fact, I considered myself to be a miner,” he laughs when talking about A Hét, of which he was one of the typical presenters in the 80s.

As the presenter of the Sunday evening A Hét in the 80s

He also worked happily at night

For years, he prepared the prime minister’s interviews for Kossuth Radio. From this, I conclude that it is still a gateway to Viktor Orbán. “How could I be a walk-in? We meet sometimes when there is an event where he is also there. When I was still conducting the interviews with him, we often only recorded the conversation around ten o’clock in the evening at the Prime Minister’s residence. In the meantime, the youngest child was taking a nap peacefully on his shoulder, and when we were done, I ran back to the radio station,” reveals a behind-the-scenes secret.

His partner died of cancer

She is an attractive and stylish woman who belies her age, but why was she left alone? Maybe she was too smart and a workaholic for men and they feared her? “You should ask them, I’m not an expert on the male soul. On the other hand, I had two serious relationships that could have lasted forever, but both turned out to be unfortunate. One was born during my university years. My friend went abroad, in the words of the time, defected. He tried everything to get me to go after him, but I couldn’t leave my parents or his mother, whom I loved very much, here. Much later, I had another relationship that ended sadly. My partner became ill in no time and died of cancer. It is not easy to process these two stories, in fact not for a lifetime, but this is what fate brought.” – the 76-year-old celebrity tells about the painful events of his life.

He always had pets. Now only a kitten is waiting for him home

He was a geek at school

He has a degree in economics, but he says about this: “I never liked the profession I studied. For example, when I hear the word accounting or finance, I would like to go into the world immediately. I only applied to be an economist because I was a geek, and at that time you had to take admission in most subjects at this university, and I arrogantly thought that this was obviously the hardest, let’s go for it! I did well, but I would be lying if I said that economics and I had become closer. And that was fine, so I didn’t become an economist, fortunately for the economics profession.”

I also learn from him that when he was young he did competitive gymnastics and basketball, and now he does gymnastics at home, between the four walls, every day, so he keeps himself in good shape. Despite his excellent physical and mental condition, when I ask him about his plans, he spreads his arms and says, “Look, my time is up. I don’t have a problem with that, since my own generation is hardly seen on the screen anymore and hardly heard on the radio. I accept what is. Tell me, what are my long-term plans? Of course, there’s still something nearby: after the interview, I’ll go home and feed my cat” he ends the conversation jokingly.

Photo: Márta Pintér, Gabriella Steindl, Fortepan / Zsolt Zih, Fortepan / Zoltán Szalay

The article is in Hungarian

Tags: Legendary radio host Katalin Kondor lives fired expert male soul


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