“The King of Palma”: party, sex, corruption and murder


April 18, 2022 – 11:00 a.m. look

Mule curly mane, 90s leather vest and pronounced stubborn head: the “King of Palma” Matti Adler (played by Henning Baum), who quickly finds himself in serious trouble in the new RTL series of the same name as a dropout in Majorca holiday paradise, so ever gave it. But watching it gives you a different feeling, as the story is actually inspired by real events – and some of them are more mysterious than you’d think from the summer, sun and beach footage.

How and when did Ballermann become what he represents today? How were booze buckets, (semi-)nude parties and blockbuster legends born? And what sinister rivalries and machinations were going on behind the scenes unnoticed by the German crowds – up to and including a terrible murder? The documentary answers all that and more “Mythos Ballermann – the true story” here on RTL+!

“From corruption to murder, everything has happened”

The story of the “King of Palma” Matti Adler and his “Beer Eagle” is based on real events.

© RTL / Pep Bonet

In the series, Matthias “Matti” Adler wants to leave behind his boring life as a car salesman in Germany and in 1990 tries his luck as an operator of a beer garden on Mallorca’s Playa de Palma. But the dream of sun, beach and party quickly turns into a whirlwind of bribes, blackmail and violence, into which Matti’s wife, Sylvie, and their two children are also drawn.

The well-watered Ballermann and a drama series? It fits together better than one might initially imagine – agreed Veronica Priefer and Johannes Kunkel, the masterminds behind “The King of Palma”. “Hardly anyone knows what goes on behind the scenes in mass tourism,” says Johannes. Matti, his family and the other characters are fictional, but: “In the 1990s Mallorca was a hot place. Both in terms of fun tourism and hidden machinations. At that time, a lot of money was made and we fought with the toughest. . From corruption to murder, everything happened and we were inspired by it,” says Johannes.

Culture shock between Germans and Majorcans

For many Mallorcan and German entrepreneurs, Mallorca was “a kind of Wild West” in the early 1990s, Veronica says – less government control than in Germany or the Spanish mainland, but huge financial potential in the explosion of the tourism. This has resulted in conflict, bitter rivalries and, last but not least, culture shock. One of the reasons it feels so real in ‘The King of Palma’ is that the team also shows the many other sides of Mallorca – like the traditional life of large families in the interior of the island – and s relies on actors who speak Mallorquí, that is to say the local dialect.

Trunk ex-nightlife greats as tips

Matti Adler (Henning Baum) enters

It doesn’t take long for Matti to get in serious trouble in ‘King of Palma’.

© RTL / Pep Bonet

In addition, Priefer and Kunkel met many different contemporary witnesses in advance, as Kunkel explains: “From former consul to service personnel.” The two also provided important information to local nightlife stars of the time. “For example, the booker of the legendary Ballermann nightclub “Oberbayern” and the booker of the equally legendary “Riu Palace”. The two were in constant competition at the time, but now they have advised the series team and have also read all the scripts.

Real Ballermann footage from the 1990s from the RTL archive, which is repeatedly interwoven with the fictional scenes from the series, completes the authentic impression. Priefer also thinks: “In this case, it’s fine: a picture says more than 1000 words.” (rca)

“The King of Palma”: Stream now on RTL+

Do you want to immerse yourself in the world created in Mallorca around 1990? Discover Henning Baum as war horse Matti and Lukas Cordalis as his sire Costa Cordalis? “The King of Palma will be on RTL from April 15 at 8:15 p.m. You can also watch all the episodes now on RTL+!

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