Passchier (1933-) was the ever-present host of the Jeux Sans Frontières
heats from the Netherlands between the years of 1970 and 1977. He was also a
regular presenter of
Zeskamp, the domestic competition that
had started life in 1968 as a Dutch-Belgian inter-country competition which
became a Netherlands-only contest two years later. From that point, Zeskamp
events up until 1977 would decide which Dutch towns would represent the
Netherlands in the European competitions. 1978 saw the Netherlands' withdrawal
from Jeux Sans Frontières at the instigation of Dutch broadcaster,
NCRV. The domestic series continued however until 1987, and Passchier remained
During his time in Jeux Sans
Frontières (or Spel Zonder Grenzen, as Dutch audiences knew it), he
memorably challenged British presenter Stuart Hall to try the 'Crossing the
Dykes' game at the Groningen heat in 1976. The game involved pole vaulting off
the dykes across an algae-covered waterway to land on the sand at its bank.
Needless to say, they both ended up in the drink, amid much hilarity.
Passchier is also well regarded
for his commentaries on the annual Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) holiday
broadcasts, which he delivered between 1972 and 1981, during the reign of
Queen Juliana. He also presented a quiz show for secondary school students
called Tweekamp. Dick disappeared from Dutch television screens in the
late Eighties when he went to live in Norway. He returned to his native land
in 2004 and has recently made a television comeback.
by Alan Hayes