ServusTV is “fit without Philip”.

Two weeks ago, Filip Jelinek was the country's most famous ORF gymnast. Then came the FPÖ chats and a negotiating poker with ServusTV, which apparently backfired. A KURIER report that Jelinek's widely expected engagement to the Salzburg private broadcaster had not materialized was confirmed by the newspaper's broadcaster on Friday evening: “No engagement” reported “no internal rumours”.

During the corona pandemic there was at least one winner with Filip Jelinek. Initially featured on “Guten Morgen Österreich” on ORF, the 56-year-old eventually won in the ratings. The program “Fit with Philip” on ORF2 became a fixed date of the week for many people in Austria, especially the elderly. The harvest courier for the Viennese native was the audience award at the Rome Gala.

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A shock to fellow gymnasts

So it came as a shock to many when ORF announced a “quiet separation” from Jelinek in mid-April. It's not the first time his career has been derailed — so wherever he is, he can bounce back.

Jelínek was the victim of secret FPÖ chats made public during the investigation committee. From these text messages to the then Blue Party leader Heinz-Christian Strachey, it emerged that Jelinek was praising himself as an informant for the FPÖ. When it was his turn at ORF, he wrote to Strachey: “I'm so glad we did it. If you need to see us when you get back… you have some important information.

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Like his “mentor”.

He repeatedly pointed to the FPÖ leader as he attended meetings of the ORF's general management (“I pay attention to a lot…what is being said.”) When Strache's career came to an abrupt end in the Ibiza affair, Jelinek wrote to him: “You will be my mentor.”

In this situation, reliable cooperation between the ORF and the former gymnast is no longer possible. Within a short period of time, an alternative program was created at ORF: “Matching with the Stars”, “Dancing Star” Connie Gruter, launched with a firework display of ratings, is still going well. Next Monday, former soccer player and ORF soccer expert Roman Mahlich will take over the reigns from Andy Goldberger, who thoroughly entertained the audience.

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Deadlocked payment requests?

One can only speculate why Jelinek's commitment to ServeTV, managed by ORF board member Herbert Fektor, faltered in the last few meters. Often this is due to payment requests.


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