The Hoff breaks down bar­ri­ers

From Bay­watch to Berlin, David Has­sel­hoff in­sists he’s still hip, DAR­REN DEVLYN re­ports

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

SOME see David Has­sel­hoff as a man smoth­ered in show­biz cheese, but don’t be think­ing he loses any sleep over it.

‘ The Hoff ’ is listed in the

Guin­ness Book of World Records as ‘ The Most Watched TV Star in the World’ thanks to Knight Rider and Bay­watch. What isn’t in the record books is his un­de­ni­ably ex­tra­or­di­nary op­ti­mism and in­de­fati­ga­ble spirit.

His abil­ity to cut across de­mo­graph­ics is il­lus­trated in his re­cent fi lm and TV work. One minute he was shoot­ing a role in

Ted 2, the se­quel to the adults- only com­edy about a potty- mouthed, bong- smoking teddy bear, the next he was play­ing a fi ction­alised ver­sion of him­self in com­edy se­ries Hoff the Record.

“I’ve got the col­lege crowd ... I have a big fol­low­ing with that group, but I al­ways want to keep the fam­ily au­di­ences, it’s re­ally im­por­tant to me,” Has­sel­hoff says.

“I did Sponge­Bob SquarePants and a heap of things – Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent, Amer­ica’s Got Tal­ent – to

keep me hip with the kids.”

His lat­est ven­ture is fronting the doc­u­men­tary Has­sel­hoff vs The

Berlin Wall, in­spired by the 25th an­niver­sary of the fall of the wall. It fea­tures in­ter­views with peo­ple who mirac­u­lously ne­go­ti­ated the wall to fl ee from East to West.

“My song, Look­ing For Free­dom, was a No. 1 hit in 1989,” he says.

“The song be­came an an­them for one of the most hated sym­bols ( the wall) of com­mu­nism.”

Fol­low­ing the crum­bling of the wall, Has­sel­hoff , re­splen­dent in a bat­tery- pow­ered leather jacket with fl ash­ing lights, per­formed the song for a mas­sive crowd at the site.

He was not just thrilled to be in­vited to per­form at the New Year’s Eve cel­e­bra­tion, but shocked to dis­cover his song had been a hit in the East – passed around on boot­leg cas­settes.

It gave rise to the wide­spread but er­ro­neous ru­mour that he had a hand in top­pling the wall and was a fac­tor in the re­unifi cation of Ger­many.

“I don’t have to ex­plain my­self or apol­o­gise to any­body, I know

what I did,” he says. “I know I had noth­ing to do with the Berlin Wall com­ing down. I had noth­ing to do with any­thing ex­cept for fact that ev­ery­one in East Ger­many was singing a song called Look­ing

for Free­dom.

“When they asked me to sing I said, ‘ OK, as long as I can sing on top of the wall’. They said ‘ yes’ and I went, ‘ Oh my god, they said yes’.”

Has­sel­hoff , 62, has sung, danced and acted since the age of seven. He’s had some well- doc­u­mented bat­tles to keep his pri­vate life on the straight and nar­row.

“Some­times the knocks you take are not by choice,” he says.

“You just have to pick your­self up and move on.

“Ev­ery­one knows when we screw up; ev­ery­one knows when you do wrong.

“And you go, ‘ I know I was stupid, I know I was an idiot, but so what, it’s part of life.” HAS­SEL­HOFF VS THE BERLIN WALL SUN­DAY, 7.30PM, NA­TIONAL GE­O­GRAPHIC

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