Shary Reeves
In Germany, most people know Shary Reeves from "Wissen macht Ah!", a kids' and teens' programme that she presented until 2017. Photo: Marina Weigl

Shary Reeves: “Cologne has delusions of grandeur. No wonder – we’re descendants of the Romans!”

Presenter, author and ex-footballer Shary Reeves was born in Cologne. The thing she likes most about the city is the people and their sarcasm, humour and love of wackiness.

Cologne? Superficial? That’s what people like to say. “Cologne is the sexiest city in the universe,” is Shary Reeves’ answer every time. “It’s not true, obviously,” she says. “I’m just being sarcastic.” She thinks the city’s Südstadt neighbourhood is grotty and grimy, for instance. That’s where she’s moved back to after a long period away. Yes, she says, Cologne can be annoying and it has far too many traffic lights – but at least it takes a while for them to change back to red! And the fact that a piece of art depicting the words “Liebe deine Stadt” (love your city) adorns the extremely unsightly Nord-Süd-Fahrt road is particularly amusing to her. “It’s got a kind of broken charm. I love Cologne for that alone.”

For Shary, Cologne is “the sexiest city in the universe”. Photo: Marina Weigl

Shary Reeves loves Cologne’s “nutty natives” and their sense of humour

It goes without saying that the city is a constant source of joy to Cologne-born Shary. Not just because of the local Kölsch beer (though that is her favourite tipple) but because off the “nutty” natives and their sense of humour. Imagine, you’re on a platform at the central station, a train from Berlin arrives and a crackly loudspeaker announcement tells you: “This train is not an advent calendar – you can open all the doors!” That sort of thing makes Shary crack up. “In Düsseldorf, they wouldn’t even get that joke,” she says, giving herself away as a true Cologne native who doesn’t miss an opportunity to make fun of the people of rival city Düsseldorf.

The most beautiful cathedral in the world

“Cologne has delusions of grandeur. No wonder – we are descendants of the Romans!” says Shary. And the city’s cathedral is certainly symbolic of those delusions. To her, it’s “the most beautiful cathedral in the world”. That’s why one of her favourite places is the Roncalliplatz square, where the cathedral stands and which was named after Giuseppe Roncalli, otherwise known as Pope Johannes XXIII. You get a wonderful view of the building from there, she says, adding, “It’s that perfection from a past era that captivates me time and again.”

Shary Reeves
Roncalliplatz is one of Shary’s favourite places in Cologne. Photo: Marina Weigl

Shary Reeves, an all-round talent

Like the city she lives in, Shary Reeves is a true all-rounder. She’s good at running and playing football and was on the German under-16 football sqad. She can sing and dance, prompting her to start a hip-hop and soul group, the “4 Reeves”, with her three siblings when she was a teenager. She’s also a great communicator, which is why now, aged 43, she works as an author, actor, producer, journalist and presenter. Shary spent many years on the TV programme “Wissen macht Ah”, explaining the world to thousands of kids. She’s engaged in various social issues and enjoys working with children. And she even trained as a carpenter somewhere along the way. Shary is a real all-round talent or, as she likes to put it, a “scanner personality”. She’s like a sponge, absorbing anything and everything that interests her.

Shary Reeves
Shary is a big football fan and an honorary member of the FC Köln football club. Photo: Marina Weigl

Cologne and football

Football and Cologne’s 1. FC club, of which she’s an honorary member, are still very close to Shary’s heart. The stadium is easy to reach from her home – that was important for her. But she has other favourite places in the southern part of the city too: the Südbrücke bridge, for instance, which enjoys protected status and is used by trains, pedestrians and cyclists alike. On the other side of the Rhine lies the Poller Wiesen park, where she likes to stroll with her wife and her miniature poodle, Moya. “Sometimes,” says Shary, “when I’ve got too much energy, I go to the bridge, look out into the distance and just shout at the top of my lungs!”

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