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“He’s never used to his stardom”

TV presenter Alexei Begak has died

At the age of 62 to die – why, why? Nobody knows. It is said that Alexei Begak was seriously ill. His last broadcasts on “Kultura” caused pain and questions: why did he lose so much weight? But no one believed, did not guess – such a sporty, easy life lover, well, what a disease…

But it happened. Man is mortal, suddenly mortal. A great artist, a wonderful presenter, a smart girl, and that’s the end of the program. 62 years is not an age at all. And no one believes.

He was born in Moscow into a family of ballet dancers at the Bolshoi Theater. An artist by nature and in life. He graduated from the Surikov Moscow State Art Institute. He first worked as an illustrator and book designer – about Herbert Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ernest Hemingway, Pasternak… He wrote about a hundred paintings, which are now in private and corporate collections in Russia, USA, Japan, Britain and Germany.

He came to television in 2001 in the program “With a new home!” on “Russia 1” and the show “1000 trifles”, then switched to “Culture” in his “Rules of Life”. He was also the host of the third season of the “Grand Opera” project, and in 2017 – the host of the intellectual game “Genius”. After Andrei Maksimov left the program “Country Duty Officer”, he began to do so together with Mikhail Zhvanetsky.

Andrey Maksimov:

– We were not friends with Alexei, but only well-known people. But what a pleasure I always got from talking to him. He invited me to his program, and that’s when I realized for the first time that he was a great wonderful artist. What pictures he has! And Lyosha was just a very good man. I’m not saying this because he’s gone, but I’ve always felt it. Here you come to him in the studio, and he deals only with you, loves only you, is interested only in what is connected with you. Then it turned out that he was with everyone, but it didn’t matter. He just loved people, that’s all.

I invited him to a lecture on psychology. You know, he was so interested in it, because it was about children, and it turned out to be very important for him. That’s where we met.

And Alexei always tried to eat right and encouraged others to do so. Here we come to some air, there are pancakes with meat, pies, we are treated. And here is Lyosha at once: “No, it is impossible to eat, it is harmful, guys, it is not necessary”. That’s how he treated himself. And he was so slender, athletic, hot. You know, just now I learned that he was 62, he was my age, and I thought: 50, well, 55, no more.

… When he started conducting “Country Duty Officer” with Zhvanetsky after me, many journalists called us and wanted to quarrel. But nothing happened: Alexei was so delicate, honest, kind…

And yet… He came to television quite late and did not have time to get sick of stardom, did not even know what it was. I invited him to the theater for my performances and saw how people approached him to take pictures with him, and he was embarrassed, he couldn’t get used to his popularity. And now he is gone.

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