Do you remember? In the mid-2000s, when you turned on the television, chances were you had one of the many popular dish formats on screen after the daily talk shows. Real lawyers such as Barbara Salesch, Alexander Hold, Ruth Herz and Co. judged cases that were not quite so real, which were always a bit more turbulent than the usual routine processes in German courts. There was scolding, shouting and insults, and surprise witnesses with the decisive evidence were the order of the day. Good times.

But one thing was needed to portray the numerous accused, injured parties, witnesses and spectators: many, many enthusiastic amateur actors who gave everything for a fee of fifty euros and a few minutes of fame. Hundreds to thousands of extras took on the many roles, some hoping it could be their stepping stone to stardom. In fact, it worked for some.

A clip just made the rounds on TikTok showing a young, brunette woman with a round baby bump and the alleged name “Carola Tietge”. The video from 2009 shows someone who would know all of Germany just a year later: Lena Meyer-Landrut. Before the now 31-year-old became well known by taking part in Stefan Raab’s “Unser Star für Oslo” contest and her subsequent victory at the ESC, she got a taste of extra appearances on “Richter Alexander Hold” and the scripted reality format “K11 – Commissars in action” once on TV air.

And she’s not the only one: In 2013, Alexander Hold had another celebrity witness in his courtroom without knowing it: the influencer Daniel Schütz, now known as “Jeremy Fragrance”, played a journeyman baker who was the pretty victim during the show charmed and teased her fiancé. Today, the eccentric 33-year-old makes a lot of money with videos about perfumes. Almost 770,000 people follow him on Instagram.

Colleague Barbara Salesch, for her part, had people sitting in front of her in her show who later achieved prominence. Among others, Knossi, born Jens Knossalla, who is known today as a live streamer, entertainer, singer and moderator. And he took on various extra roles several times, for example in 2010 he played a bullying big brother named Boris Borkmann. He is not ashamed of the start of his career: he later published so-called “Reaction” videos in which he commented with amusement on the Barabra Salesch show.

The extra role of another celebrity who appears as a witness for Barbara Salesch – as a friend of a prostitute of all things – is also surprising today. Presenter Sebastian Puffpaff (“TV Total”) took over the role of the naive Alexander Mittler in 2010, but at least he showed more talent than most of the others present.

In any case, the numerous court shows of the 2000s have real nostalgia value today. So much so that since September 2022, Barabara Salesch has even been on TV again with new episodes: a fresh episode is broadcast on RTL every afternoon. And who knows – maybe in ten years we will know some of the participating extras as big celebrities!