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Portrait of the artist – Barbara Karlic: Queen of the Modern Heart

Portrait of the artist – Barbara Karlic: Queen of the Modern Heart

Most people know this Croatian artist from Burgenland, who was born in Vienna and grew up in Troisdorf, from her show “The Barbara Karlić Show”. This has been airing for an incredible 25 years. This makes it not only the longest-running talk show in German-speaking countries, but also the only one remaining.

Karlic is convinced that it is the unique opportunity for people of different backgrounds and opinions to come together on one stage and publicly share their opinions that makes the show a success. Conveying and hearing views, visions and concerns. “Through our coordination, we have definitely helped remove taboos from sensitive topics,” says the moderator.

Barbara Karlic in her second home, ORF Studio

ORF, Milenko Badzic

Change requires courage

Love, disabilities, transgenderism, homosexuality – these are all areas that were not talked about 20 years ago. Of course, it took a lot of effort for many guests to “come out” and explain themselves, but it was often easier than continuing to feel “disconnected” from the community. Barbara Karlic's radiant and warm-hearted nature gave them strength and courage and certainly contributed to our society becoming more open and open today.

“On January 8, 2024, the program “Barbara Karlich” was renamed “Talk at 4”. A new studio accommodates guests. There is no longer an on-site audience. “It's a different way of talking, more peace, you're perfectly focused on discussions But it requires greater concentration,” reveals the coordinator, who puts the audience at her feet – because of her sense of humour, her openness, and because she stands up for others.

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Not without Burgenland “Jeanne d'Arc”

Barbara Karlic recalls her school days in this regard. It's an unimaginable thing to hear the Queen of Talk speak – but for the first four years of her life she only spoke Croatian. The first time at Eisenstädter Gymnasium was not easy. Hostility and insults because of their origins hurt.

But this made Karlic's character stronger. She became the class representative, won the oratory competition and always stood up for the weaker ones as a modern-day “Joan of Arc.” She graduated with honors, studied journalism, psychology and theater studies, took a college course in public relations and added a few semesters of medicine. Successfully completed all studies except medicine.

Barbara Karlic Show

Barbara Karlic: Always smiling at her viewers

ORF, Ali Schaeffler

At home in many stages

She almost feels a little regretful about not completing this field of study, but the integration into professional life was very intense at that time. It now serves television, theater and radio. On Radio Burgenland she hosts “The Barbara Karlich Book Club”, where she talks to celebrities about their favorite books, reading habits and private matters.

The guest list is impressive. Sinta Berger, Erika Pluhar, Michael Niavarani, Julian Rachlin, Nadia Bernhard, and Alphonse Haider are just a few of them. Brigitte Kren, Alex Christian, Nina Brühl, Robert Kratky and Christoph Feuerstein – they will all follow in the next few months.

Walking a tightrope between public and private life

The only thing Barbara Karlic would do differently today is keep her private life out of the public eye. “Of course I know that my success is also due to the fact that I opened up a lot about myself. At that time I thought this was true because my guests also revealed a lot about themselves.

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Today's supervisors receive training, and Barbara was in a difficult situation when she started her career. However, she did her job so well that you couldn't help but bow and say “my respects.”