Guardian: Is This Bulgarian TV Show Really Cursed?

Views on BG | May 5, 2011, Thursday // 09:02
Guradian: Is This Bulgarian TV Show Really Cursed?: Guardian: Is This Bulgarian TV Show Really Cursed? The host of Otechestven Front, Bulgarian journalist Martin Karbovski (L), pictured with popular actor Lyubo Neikov (R). Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

Leo Benedictus

The Guardian

Given how many people are involved in making them, it would be strange if there were no films or TV shows that seemed to be cursed. The Poltergeist trilogy is often cited, as four of its stars died before the release of the final film. The same is sometimes claimed of the Superman franchise, tenuously linking the unhappy stories of Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Marlon Brando and Richard Pryor.

Yet by any standards, the Bulgarian TV show Otechestven Front – which translates loosely as The Home Front – does seem to be experiencing a cluster of bad luck. Its format is simple: through a series of on-location interviews, presenter Martin Karbovski introduces a selection of ordinary people, each of whom has an extraordinary (but not always cheerful) story. Think of a macabre That's Life, or a clothed Eurotrash, and you'll be getting warm.

Yet over the past two years, no fewer than six of the show's subjects have died shortly after taking part. The first was a particularly unpleasant former criminal known as The Rose, who collapsed a matter of days after his interview was filmed, amid rumours of black magic. An 85-year-old woman called Gena, who told Karbovski her legs had been eaten by dogs, was next, dying in her sleep.

Another victim was Ivanka Arsova, the 62-year-old owner of an icon of the Virgin Mary and Child, which was reputed to cry real tears and became a site of pilgrimage. In her case, it was an undiagnosed cancer that killed her, shortly after she claimed to have been visited by a stranger saying "God was calling".

Last month brought the strangest case of all, when Halil Baev, a herbalist, was killed in a fire that destroyed his house. Having been rescued once, Baev would have survived, had he not returned in an attempt to rescue his black cat. Nova TV, which transmits Otechestven Front, says they are aware of the supposed curse, and are "looking into it".

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Tags: Otechestven Front, Martin Karbovski, curse, cursed, TV, show
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