Rock stars and unsung heroes

The winners of the BAMBI awards 2016 (c) HBM
The winners of the BAMBI awards 2016 (c) HBM

Major stars, devoted fans, emotional moments: The 68th BAMBI ceremony took place in Berlin on 17 November in the Stage Theater, Potsdamer Platz. Winners of Germany’s most important media award included Pope Francis, popstar Robbie Williams and footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger. The audience was particularly moved by the story of Yusra and Sarah Mardini, who received the “Unsung heroes” award after saving a group of fellow refugees.

There was also a surprise for Bastian Schweinsteiger as his childhood friend, ski racer Felix Neureuther, gave a speech to accompany his award. The jury chose the footballer for their special award in honour of his unique career with all its ups and downs. There were standing ovations for Saba Douglas-Hamilton and Frank Pole, who received the “Our earth” award for their tireless work with the animal welfare organisation “Save the elephants”.

Actor Oliver Masucci gave a particularly haunting acceptance speech as he and Fabian Busch accepted the BAMBI for the best German film for “Er ist wieder da” (Look who’s back). He pointed out that, as right-wing populist parties gain increasing strength in Europe, the film is more relevant than ever. Sting gave a moving tribute – in German – to Udo Lindenberg, who received the BAMBI for German music. “You have given new meaning to the concept of youth culture. The secret is to stay young at heart”, he said of the 70-year-old.

Sting aka Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner the BAMBI awards in Berlin © picture: Sabine Brauer Photos/Dominik Beckmann for Hubert Burda Media
Sting aka Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner the BAMBI awards in Berlin
© picture: Sabine Brauer Photos/Dominik Beckmann for Hubert Burda Media

The BAMBI statue also took its first trip to the Vatican: Former German President Horst Köhler praised Pope Francis – who had been presented with the Millennium BAMBI in Rome in advance of the ceremony – for his unwavering charity.

Sisters Yusra and Sarah Mardini were named unsung heroes for their courage after they swam beside a refugee boat to keep it afloat, saving 18 lives. The “Our Olympic heroes” people’s choice award went to gymnast Andreas Toba, who showed extraordinary team spirit and force of will at the Olympic Games.

Hundreds of fans waiting outside the Stage Theater gave the arriving stars an enthusiastic welcome. There were particularly loud cheers for Robbie Williams, German actors Matthias Schweighöfer and Florian David Fitz, DJ Felix Jaehn and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who attended with his wife Ana Ivanovic. The stars spent plenty of time talking to their fans, who packed out the large fan area on Marlene-Dietrich-Platz.

The ceremony included performances from Sting, Zara Larsson, Robbie Williams – who presented two hits from his new album – international DJ Felix Jaehn and veteran rocker Udo Lindenberg, who was accompanied by the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg.


Comedy Bülent Ceylan Thomas Hermanns
Special jury award Bastian Schweinsteiger Felix Neureuther
Entertainment Felix Jaehn speech by Palina Rojinski, presented by Miss BAMBI
Television Florian Silbereisen Mareile Höppner
German Film “Er ist wieder da” (Look who’s back) Michael Brandner
Integration Joachim Löw Winfried Kretschmann
Lifetime achievement Mario Adorf Axel Milberg
Millennium Papst Franziskus Horst Köhler
International music Robbie Williams Thomas Gottschalk
Music National Udo Lindenberg Sting
“Our Olympic heroes” people’s choice Andreas Toba Alexander Bommes
German actor Devid Striesow Bettina Zimmermann and Kai Wiesinger
German actoress Anna Maria Mühe Bettina Zimmermann and Kai Wiesinger
Sport Angelique Kerber Kai Plaume
Unsung heroes Yusra and Sarah Mardini Anja Reschke
Our earth “Save the Elephants” Saba Douglas-Hamilton, Frank Pope Judith Rakers

Sport: Angelique Kerber

German actress: Anna Maria Mühe

Special jury award: Bastian Schweinsteiger

Comedy: Bülent Ceylan

German actor: Devid Striesow

Entertainment: Felix Jaehn

German film: “Er ist wieder da” (Look, who is back)

Television: Florian Silbereisen

Joachim Löw received the award in the category "integration" and Udo Lindenberg "German music"

International music: Robbie Williams

Unsung heroes: Yusra and Sarah Mardini

“Our Olympic heroes” people’s choice: Andreas Toba

Our earth: “Save the Elephants”: Saba Douglas-Hamilton, Frank Pole