I. Slavi’s Show – Presentation
“Slavi Trifonov’s Show” is an evening talk show broadcast on air from 10:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. every day from Monday to Friday on the first private national television in Bulgaria – bTV. Although an external production, the show itself became a symbol of the media, and the basis on which the media began to build its image and prestige.
Since its launch on November 27, 2000 “Slavi Trifonov’s Show” has become an absolute rating leader. In just one year the show broke the stereotype that a program cannot become popular if it is outside prime time. Moreover it extended the prime time of BTV to 11:30 p.m. achieving a rating.
Slavi Trifonov’s image reached a great level of development and popularity and now ranks among the most popular sociometric stars. In sociological studies related to past parliamentary elections “Slavi’s Show” and Slavi Trifonov himself have always been placed in the top three of the individuals benefiting from highest public confidence, regardless of which agency carries out the research. Slavi Trifonov was always pointed out among those enjoying the highest confidence of the population, regardless of the political or nonpolitical nature of the messages they send.
“Slavi’s Show” is the most influential TV program in Bulgaria since its creation until the present moment. It is the result of the remarkable presence over many years of the team who created it on the Bulgarian media market.
“Slavi Trifonov’s Show” is a program unique for its format in all of Eastern Europe due to the homogeneous combination of political cabaret, talk show, dazzling live musical performances and modern ballet.
The main genre characteristic of the show is the commentary of the host on leading current affairs topics, the live musical and playful interpretation between the host and Ku-Ku Band, as well as the viewpoint on these topics of special guests on the show. The interest is very high for shows with Editorial boards in which views on topical issues and pressing problems are expressed by the writers of the show.
Additional highlights of the show are the specially prepared videos that emotionally and logically complement or contradict what is happening live.
II. Structure of the show
“Slavi Trifonov’s Show” includes several distinct parts:
1. Modern Ballet – Dance performances by Magadance Ballet in the studio of the show based upon pop and rock tunes and Slavi’s original songs and those of Ku-Ku Band performed live by the band. Often, different dances and variations are not only an introduction to the mood of the audience, but also carry individual messages.
2. Presenting the host – different in every show. Dedicated to the idea of originality and uniqueness the presentation varies escaping the template “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome…”
3. Monologue of the host – One of the two “cornerstones” of the show based on satire. It contains a humorous and at the same time critical point of view on current affairs of public and political life and unusual commentary on curious facts from international news flow. Included within the frame of the monologue are performances by the actors of “Slavi’s Show” or by the host himself, as well as musical interpretations of the band.
4. Guests – The other trump card of the show. The original approach towards guests is due to the fact that apart from traditional talk show questions they are subject to numerous provocations and surprises. Their participation becomes different from previous public appearances and unusual and unknown facets come into sight for the audience.
5. Actors – incarnations of the actors in Actors’ evenings recreate extremely amusing characters. Sometimes they are in the role of an ordinary man, sometimes they portray the image of a famous politician or a representative of show business. In each case the entertainment of the audience is guaranteed and the appearance of the actors is eagerly awaited.
6. Sections – various sections on current affairs are presented in the show. Some of them are – Editorial Board of the writers on pressing social problems and political events, the section named “The Yellow Visitor” dedicated to the myths and untruths published in yellow newspapers. There is also a section “Man and Woman Intimately” in which Slavi and a sexologist answer questions from viewers.
7. Miniseries – miniseries are broadcast within the show with the participation of the actors of the show and guest actors. Usually each of the series draws to the screen large numbers of viewers and the development of the story is an actively discussed topic, while the characters and their lines become iconic and a part of the daily life of ordinary people.
8. Projects – the show holds different competitions – for singers, dancers and various other talents. Greatly appreciated are the castings from which the finalists get selected. Often the challenges in the final stage are unusual and require a wide range of skills and challenge the psychological sustainability of the finalists. All this is a guarantee for the interest of viewers and a premise for the finals to be broadcast live where the winner is determined by online voting by viewers. An additional thrill is the reward for the winner which always has its own uniqueness. Such awards were: Ferrari, Mercedes, a yacht, a jeep full of books, a two-bedroom furnished apartment, a world tour, and others.
“Slavi Trifonov’s Show” has successfully welcomed as guests well-known personalities from world music show business and culture including: rock stars like singer Whitesnake David Coverdale, the stars of Deep Purple and Rainbow Glenn Hughes and Joe Lynn Turner, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, Rob Halford and Judas Priest, the musicians of Dream Theater, the dancers of Lord of the Dance, “the proponents of sexual revolution” Army of Lovers, the Italian star Zucchero, Al Bano, Ricchi e Poveri, Tiziano Ferro, Greek celebrities Helena Paparizou, Antique and Vasilis Karas, the sexiest string quartet in the world Bond, musicians from Laureate, Incognito, Manhattan Transfer virtuosos Yuri Bashmet and Nigel Kennedy, singers Lutricia McNeal, Karen Bernod, Ishtar, the stars of dance music Moloko, Stereo MC-s, In-Grid, Dario G, Touch & Go, Deja vu, Vengaboys, Active, Lou Bega, Weather Girls, Kurt Hauenstein frontman for Supermax, Russian stars Alsou, Philip Kirkorov, Tatu, and Ukraine’s superstar Ruslana. Among our guests are composers Michel Legrand, Andrea Morricone and Goran Bregovic.
Guests on the show have been writers such as Robert Sheckley, Frederic Beigbeder, Sidney Sheldon, John Connolly, Brad Meltzer, Elizabeth Kostova, the highly acclaimed Scottish author and scriptwriter Irvine Welsh, and Slavi Trifonov’s favourite writer Lee Child.
Representatives from the world stage of the Seventh Art have also been guests on the show, Hollywood action heroes Jean Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, Dolph Lundgren, Mathias Hughes, American stars Stephen Baldwin, Tomas Arana, Jeff Fahey, Ray Liotta, Michael Jai White, Michelle Rodriguez and Michael Cory Davis. The list goes on with Hollywood stars Leonor Varela, Billy Zane, Ben Cross, John Rhys-Davies, Patricia Velasquez, Lorenzo Lamas, Laura Harring and Jenny McShane, William Forsythe, Vinnie Jones, Ljubisa Samardzic, Michele Placido, Christopher Lambert as well as the great Russian directors Armen Dzhigarhanyan, Nikita Mikhalkov and Andrei Konchalovsky.
Unforgettable are the shows with world athletes such as legendary footballers Franz Beckenbauer and Paolo Rossi, skiers Alberto Tomba and Marc Girardelli, Formula 1 pilots Juan Pablo Montoya and Nick Heidfeld, the athlete Carl Lewis, world chess champions Vishwanathan Anand, Veselin Topalov and Antoaneta Stefanova, as well as Bulgarian Olympic champions Stefka Kostadinova, Teresa Marinova, Tanju Kiryakov, Galabin Boevsky, Tanya Bogomilova, Armen Nazaryan, Ekaterina Dafovska, Maria Grozdeva, Stanka Zlateva and the footballers Hristo Stoichkov, Trifon Ivanov and Dimitar Berbatov.
The Bulgarian guests of the show are just as astounding: internationally acclaimed ensembles The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices and Philip Koutev, cosmic voice Valia Balkanska, the famous bass opera singer Nikola Giuselev, opera diva Christina Angelakova, Raina Kabaivanska, wooden flute virtuoso Teodossi Spassov, world famous sculptor Vejdi Rashidov, Stavri Kalinov, the writer Victor Passkov well-known in Western Europe, Bulgarian top journalists Kevork Kevorkian, Ivan Garelov, Dimitar Tzonev, Elena Iontcheva, Tosho Toshev, Venelina Gotcheva and Valeri Naidenov, the film directors Rangel Valtchanov, Nikolai Volev, Aleksandar Morfov and Tedi Moskov, as well as the unforgettable Bulgarian actors Stefan Danailov, Stoyanka Mutafova, Georgi Kaloyanchev, Konstantin Kotsev, Nikola Anastassov, Kosta Tsonev, Djoko Rositch, Ania Pentcheva, Marius Kurkinski, Pavel Popandov, Maria Sapundjieva, Violeta Gindeva, Iskra Radeva, Tanya Masalitinova, Aneta Sotirova, Vulcho Kamarashev, Vladi Vargala, Georgi Cherkelov, and others.
Guests on “Slavi Trifonov’s Show” have been the Presidents of Bulgaria Jelyu Jelev, Peter Stoyanov and Georgi Parvanov, representatives of Bulgaria’s political elite, as well as the leaders of the main political parties in Bulgaria.
Besides famous Bulgarian politicians guests on the show have included Governor of Nevada Bob Miller, the honorary President of the Liberal International Graf Otto von Lambsdorff, the Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov, politicians like Boris Nemtsov, Lech Walesa, Shimon Perez, NATO commander General Wesley Clark, Gunther Verheugen and former NATO Secretary General Willy Claes, Ambassadors to Bulgaria of many countries such as Russia, Japan, USA, Israel and others.
III. The Team
The Host – Slavi Trifonov
An outstanding star in Bulgarian show business he is the media personality with the highest popularity. According to sociological surveys Slavi Trifonov ranks among the top five figures in Bulgaria in regard to public trust. His personal rating ranks him among figures like the President, the Prime Minister, and the Mayor of Sofia. Not surprisingly, he is an idol of the vast majority of young Bulgarians and leader of public opinion. In addition to hosting a television show, Slavi Trifonov is a singer whose albums are among the most anticipated by the audience music products.
The band that plays live in “Slavi Trifonov’s Show”. Bandleader is Evgeni Dimitrov – the Maestro, keyboard. Besides being a brilliant instrumentalist he has orchestrated and composed a large part of the latest Bulgarian hits. All musicians in Ku-Ku Band have studied music and a large part of them are music academy graduates. Among them there is a winner of the prestigious international Mozart Award, clarinet player Iliya Iliev.
Also playing in the band are Georgi Miltchev – bass guitar, Tzvetan Nedialkov – solo guitar, Ivan Stoyanov – rhythm guitar, Evgeni Iotov – saxophone, Iordan Iontchev – trumpet, Venelin Venkov – drums, Kristian Iliev – keybord, Reidi Brizuela – percussions, Nevena Tsoneva, Lilia Stefanova, and Boris Soltarijski – back vocals. Ku-Ku Band artists are masters of improvisation and have a unique sound. Their performances range from classical music to rap, from folk music to jazz. Among their achievements is their interpretation of Ravel’s classical piece “Bolero”. The band is one of the best in ethno-rock and has even been included in the up-to-date music textbooks for Bulgarian schools. We can surely say that Ku-Ku Band is currently the most versatile pop group in Bulgaria, whose records have made sensational sales on the Bulgarian market and at the same time having at hand the most advanced and expensive instruments and sound systems.
The sketches in “Slavi Trifonov Show” are performed by actors: Krasimir Radkov, Marian Bachev and Todor Bashianov.
IV. Accompanying activities
The team making “Slavi Trifonov’s Show” has proven for years that it is the most successful in the implementation of television formats, large outdoor performances, accompanying musical activities and advertising campaigns.
Among the formats made by teams of the show are: Music Idol 1, Survivor 1, Beauty and A Student, 5 Stars, Dancing Stars and “The Voice of Bulgaria”.
1. Concerts and tours
Since 1994, all the summer tours of “Ku-Ku”, “Kanaleto”, “The Exiles”, Slavi and Ku-Ku Band have turned into memorable events.
The average attendance of a tour is around 200,000 viewers. The events have a big impact both in print and electronic media and reach millions. The team holds the so far unrivaled record for attendance to an outdoor concert in Bulgaria – on September 25th, 2015 – at the National stadium “Vasil Levski” where according the concert was attended by over 70,000 people!
Slavi and Ku-Ku Band now have several concerts in Western Europe as well as American Tour 2010, performed in cities in the U.S. and Canada.