Introducing…Filip and Fredrik

This pair of zany, youngish guys have made one heckuva splash on Swedish television in the last year, and are now set break more TV barriers with a talk show to be broadcast live in Sweden from New York City.

Introducing...Filip and Fredrik

Who are they and why are they famous?

Filip and Fredrik, as they are commonly known, consist of 34-year-old Filip Hammar and 35-year-old Fredrik Wikingsson, two recovering journalists who discovered it was more fun to make entertaining television than sit behind a desk at a Swedish newspaper.

They made their small screen debut during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney on Sveriges Television’s “Hello, Sydney”, a forgettable performance which was followed up two years later with “Ursäkta Röran (Vi bygger om)” (‘Excuse the mess (We’re remodeling)’) on TV4.

Part candid camera, part guerrilla talk show, the programme included more edgy segments, like “SM i nazireferens” (‘Swedish Championships in Nazi References’). The network pulled the plug on Ursäkta Röran after only four episodes following a flood of complaints to the Swedish Broadcasting Commission. But the show succeeded in securing Filip and Fredrik’s future as dare-to-be-different Swedish TV stars.

But that was a long time ago, what have they done since then?

Well, in 2003 Filip and Fredrik moved to Kanal 5, a channel even more willing to push the limits of decency, where they launched a show based on their wanderings around the United States in search of B-class celebrities and has-been stars.

Christened with the purposefully misspelled title “High Chaparall”, the show featured interviews with the likes of Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson, Ian Ziering of Beverly Hills 90210 fame, porn star Ron Jeremy, and outspoken NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman.

The show even managed to cause a stir in the US tabloid press when Filip was caught on film exiting a New York coffee shop beside Monica Lewinsky, prompting rumours that the former White House intern had found a new love.

High Chaparall returned with a three episode run in the spring of 2008, one of which featured a rather surreal encounter with boxer Mike Tyson which is perhaps best described as television road kill.

I know I’ve seen these jokers before, but which one is which?

Well, Filip Hammar is a bit shorter, pudgier, and often sports a goatee. Fredrik Wikingsson, on the other hand is rather tall and lanky, with somewhat of a mop-top haircut and a bit more of a high pitched voice.

How did they hook up in the first place?

Oddly enough, both of them worked for a time as entertainment reporters for the tabloid Aftonbladet in the mid 1990s. But their friendship was cemented during a road trip in the United States in the winter of 1996. They’ve been working together and traveling to the US regularly ever since.

Seems like the United States is a running theme with these guys.

Yeah, nearly all of their shows had US-inspired names (High Chaparall, Boston Tea Party) and they even hosted an all-night live election watch programme during the 2008 US presidential elections.

According to Fredrik, this preoccupation with the US of A is a lingering side-effect of growing up watching US sitcoms and listening to US pop music.

And things continue this spring with a “Söndagsparty” (Sunday Party), a talk show to be broadcast live in Sweden from New York City.

In English?

No, in Swedish—for the most part, but it stands to reason that there will be some English spoken from time to time, as they plan on having American guests as well as “man on the street” interviews with everyday New Yorkers.

OK, but I’m still not convinced. Why would I want to watch these guys?

For starters, they’ve got great chemistry and complement each other well. Second, they’re young, daring, and energetic – three things which, until recently would not be words one would use to describe much else on Swedish television.

Put simply, they’re consistently entertaining, self-deprecating, and aren’t afraid to try new things – and have probably carried out interviews with one of the most wide-ranging, eclectic list of celebrities and no-names of anyone on TV in Sweden today.

I mean, who else can bring you heart-to-hearts with Pamela Anderson and Mike Tyson, sing Eric Clapton songs with the Prime Minister, and introduce you to a guy who’s invented ‘man-boobs’. And who could forget when they met up with the women whose pictures fueled both Filip’s and Fredrik’s adolescent sexual awakenings.

You mean they interviewed the women to whom they…ahem…first danced around the May pole, so to speak?

Yep…of course, that episode was not nearly as attention grabbing as the one in which Filip and Fredrik sat in a hotel room while a couple had sex in the background—in the name of science, of course.

The point of the “experiment” was to gather data about which sexual positions burned the most calories burned for the man and the woman.

Wait a second…they taped a pair having sex, while they were in the room?

That’s right. Welcome to Swedish television.

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Introducing… Camilla Henemark

Introducing... is The Local's guide to Swedish celebrity. In this installment David Landes gives the lowdown on Camilla Henemark - the busty pop-queen whose alleged affair with the king has once again put her in the spotlight.

Introducing... Camilla Henemark

So, who exactly is this woman and why is she in all the papers.

Yes. Well, where to begin. There isn’t much that Camilla Henemark hasn’t done: photo model, pop star, political activist, actress…lover to the king.

In the mid-1990s she hosted her own erotic television programme “Seventh Heaven” (‘Sjunde himlen’) and appeared on the spring 2012 season of “Let’s Dance”, Sweden’s version of “Dancing with the Stars”

She is also the author of a soon-to-be published autobiography.

Whoa, back up there. Lover to the king? Which king?

Well, the King of Sweden of course: Carl XVI Gustaf. At least according to Henemark, who was born in Stockholm to a Nigerian father and Swedish mother.

So is that why she’s making headlines these days? I mean, the king is a happily married man, right?

Easy there cowboy, one thing at a time. Henemark’s current round of headline-making stems primarily from her forthcoming book, “Adjö det ljuva livet” (‘Goodbye, sweet life’) in which the busty 47-year-old former face of the band Army of Lovers reportedly devotes page after page revealing her own army of lovers, including the king as well as a battalion of other well-known Swedes.

Army of Lovers? Wait a minute…weren’t they…

…big like 20 years ago? Yes. The band was founded in the late 80s and had a number of hits, with 1991’s “Crucified” hitting number one on the European charts. Here’s a video if you need to refresh your memory:

Ah, yes…that was all well and good, but let’s get back to the good stuff. What’s this about her getting down and dirty with King Carl?

Right. Well, reports about a fling between Henemark and the king first emerged almost two years ago with the publication of “Carl XVI Gustaf – Den motvillige monarken” (‘Carl XVI Gustaf – The reluctant monarch’), an unauthorized tell-all biography about the king and a number of alleged affairs, including one with La Camilla, is she is also known.

In her new book, Henemark says the affair lasted about 18 months and took place around the turn of the millennium.

So this was more than just some one-night stand?

According to Henemark it was, although exactly how hot and heavy things may have gotten remains unclear. She says she and the king were “very fond of one another” and saw each other weekly when the relationship was at its most intense.

In the book, she tells of one steamy meet-up which evolved into a sort of food fight.

“The king liked to gorge himself on sushi and cake,” she writes in the book, according to the tabloid Expressen.

I think I just lost my appetite.

Sorry to hear that, because I almost forgot to tell you about another food-related episode that put Henemark in the spotlight just last week.

Please…spare me.

Sorry…you asked, so I’m telling. Last week, Henemark was at the centre of another royal controversy – although not by choice. The dust up stemmed from a work of art depicting the King Carl XVI Gustaf eating pizza off the body of a naked and prone Henemark.

First sushi. Now pizza. Please, make it stop.

Well, let’s get back to those lovers, shall we.

Actually, I’m not sure…

Well, to use Henemark’s own words: “there isn’t anything or anyone that I haven’t tasted” she says in her new book.

“Young and old. Men as well as women. Counts as well as hooligans. Everything needs to be explored. I want to have it all,” she writes.

Okay, okay. I get the picture. But does she name any names.

Apparently yes. Names which have emerged so far include former boxing pro and TV personality Paolo Roberto, former hockey great Börje Salming, crooner Tommy Körberg; and rapper Dogge Doggelito. It should be noted, though that the degree of intimacy Henemark reached with these and others named in varied widely.

And what does the king have to say about all this?

Not much really. When the tell-all book about him came out in 2010, he told reporters he wanted to “turn the page” but never flat out addressed the rumoured affair which Henemark has more or less now confirmed in her new book.

And this time around, the king isn’t saying anything more until after the book comes out.

So, I guess we can expect a few more headlines next week when this juicy tome hits bookstore shelves?

I’d say that’s a safe bet.

David Landes

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