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Bulgarian Live Talk Show Suspended By Police To Cool Off Nationalist Politician

Eventually, the talk show's host called for support and two policemen entered the studio, flanking nationalist politician Volen Siderov.

A live talk show on Bulgarian public television (BNT) was suspended on October 1 after the host called for police intervention to calm a nationalist politician's rants.

Volen Siderov, the leader of the Attack nationalist party, provoked the intervention during an airing of Referendum, a show dedicated to local elections.

Siderov, one of the seven guests on the show, monopolized the discussion and engaged in a heated exchange with Julian Angelov, a representative of the VMRO nationalist party, and with Veselin Mareshki of the populist party Volya.

For almost 45 minutes, Siderov hurled insults at his opponents and at the presenter of the program, Dobrina Cheshmedzhieva, who muted his microphone repeatedly and demanded that he leave the studio.

Volen Siderov
Volen Siderov

Eventually, Cheshmedzhieva called for support and two policemen entered the studio, flanking Siderov. With the approval of the other guests, the show was taken off the air for six minutes. When the broadcast resumed, Siderov was no longer on the set.

It was only for the second time in the history of Bulgarian public television that a live broadcast was interrupted and the first time that uniformed police entered a studio during transmission, BNT ombudsman Ivan Takev told RFE/RL.

In 2013, Siderov, armed with a gun, attempted to invade the BNT headquarters with a group of supporters.

Security stopped him.

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    RFE/RL’s Bulgarian Service relaunched in 2019 after a 15-year absence, providing independent news and original analysis to help strengthen a media landscape weakened by the monopolization of ownership and corruption.