Angela Merkel misses Millionaire 'phone-a-friend' call

WWM website - screengrab Image copyright WWM website - screengrab
Image caption Wolfgang Bosbach was stumped on a peculiarity of life in former communist East Germany

A political ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel phoned her during a TV quiz show, hoping she could answer a question - but in vain.

Twice Wolfgang Bosbach called during the show, but all he got was the chancellor's voicemail.

He was a guest on a celebrity version of Who wants to be a Millionaire?

Thwarted by Ms Merkel's silence he bowed out, winning 125,000 euros (£102,000). The question was about an East German washing machine.

Ms Merkel grew up in the former communist East Germany.

Mr Bosbach, a member of Ms Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), was asked why the East German WM66 washing machine was legendary.

The correct answer was that many owners also used it to stew fruit.

When asked if he wanted to phone a friend, Mr Bosbach suggested the chancellor, explaining that "she's always happy to see me and hear my voice".

A correct answer from Ms Merkel would have won him 500,000 euros to spend on good causes.

At the end of the show he received a text back from Ms Merkel saying: "Ok whatever it was, warm greetings from am."

Mr Bosbach has been a German MP for 20 years and is currently deputy chairman of Ms Merkel's CDU/CSU parliamentary group.

He is a specialist in German domestic policy and legal affairs. He joined the CDU in 1972.

The show was on the commercial channel RTL.

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