Let them talk

Let Them Talk (Пусть говорят) is a Russian talk show reminiscent of the classics of American daytime TV—particularly Jerry Springer.

The show has been airing since 2001, when it was called The Big Wash (Большая стирка—because you could watch it while you did the laundry); after a few years it was changed to Five Evenings (Пять вечеров), and then found its current form in mid-2005. It’s had more than 1,700 episodes thus far, of more than an hour each.

The format of the show involves host Andrey Makhalov (Андрей Махалов) discussing and analyzing the most sordid problems in society today—drug addiction, crime, prostitution—as well as more serious problems, such as terrorism, parental rights, and international relations. Over the years, though, the show has leaned more toward the sensational, with people coming on air and telling stories about their life’s troubles (often involving shocking sexual secrets, of course). There are also sometimes episodes with interviews of famous people; Lindsay Lohan even made an appearance once.

Andrey Makhalov, the show’s host, has been in the hosting business for many years, though the majority of his career has been connected with Let Them Talk. He’s also hosted the Golden Gramophones, the Russian music hit parade, and has appeared as a judge on KVN. He has won a medal of the order “For services to the Fatherland” (“За заслуги перед Отечеством”), “for a big contribution to the development of domestic television/radio broadcasting and many years of productive activities.”


Creator: Larisa Krivtsova (Лариса Кривцова)
Host: Andrey Makhalov (Андрей Махалов)
Production company: Studiya spetsproektov Pervogo kanala (Студия спецпроектов “Первого канала”)
TV channel: Perviy kanal (Первый канал)


The show’s official website.


A recent episode:

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.