Born in the small Greek town of Pyrgos, Angeliki Nikolouli is Greece’s very own “Agatha Cristi”-only she investigates real rather than fictional murders. Nikolouli has worked for almost 30 years as a front-row journalist at major Greek newspapers, magazines and television channels. She has been the catalyst who set in motion a series of interconnected events that gave a twist to Greece’s journalism for the past three decades .Nikolouli is internationally recognized for resolving mysteries and tracing missing people but this time it was the other way around: The GreekReporter traced the Greek Agatha Christie in Hollywood and she talked exclusively about the reason she’s in L.A.
A Tough Cookie
As a young reporter, tiny framed Aggeliki, dared to work as a crime reporter- in fact she was the first female crime reporter in Greece-although not without encountering resistance. The field of crime journalism-especially for a woman in a country so conservative and narrow minded as Greece was during those years basically resembled a conflict zone. But she never complained-“Yes, it was tough, especially in the beginning, but crime reporting is certainly not for the weedy.” she says smiling. Later, she had to face hostility when she became the first female editor in chief in one of Greece’s major newspapers. As an editor in chief, Aggelikis’ research actually influenced history, or at the least the pace and rhythm of events as she made revelations that crossed the border of the country on high jacking, spying and terrorism. She revealed cases of wiretapping of politicians and other VIPs of the country that were orchestrated by the Greek secret services. The documents she presented led her to the Committee of the Parliament to testify as the major witness. But she wouldn’t stop. Nikolouli is known for being fearless and stubborn. She operates from a sound ethical center (broadly, her ideology amounts to a hatred of bullies). She has a connoisseur’s eye for the flaw in the pretty picture and she does her job with eloquence and wit.
Her current, three hour, live (!) TV show in Greece- Light In The Tunnel- is on for almost 17 years but she still works with the same passion and eagerness as if she was a newbie. Aggeliki doesn’t do mediocre-and neither do her ratings. Every Friday night the show’s ratings skyrocket and Greeks stay tuned to her breathtaking revelations until two o’clock in the morning, driving the advertisers crazy.
Through her show Nikolouli has brought to light numerous cases of murders, rapes and abductions and has traced tens of hundreds people officially reported as missing from the police. She has won countless journalist awards in Greece and she even won a Guinness prize for tracing hundreds of people who were missing for more than fifty years. Aggeliki is known for being hard working, and methodological. She is a quick study, receptive to feedback on what is working and what doesn’t with a stunning grasp of research detail. She has revealed tens of eye-popping murder cases that Greece’s bureaucrats were either unwilling or unable to resolve “It’s frustrating to see that Greek authorities don’t do their job right. Sometimes they do it on purpose others they just don’t care or they haven’t got the know-how to conduct a proper research… There are people who suffer waiting for an answer. Mothers, wives, children, living each day in agony….”.
From Japan to Russia and Italy, Nikolouli has been asked numerous times to offer her expertise in research by national televisions from all around the world. The Japanese National Television made a tribute to her show and Japanese TV executives travelled to Athens to interview her and observe closely her state-of-the-art research methods. The Russian National Television invited her to provide her know-how in order to unite two siblings who had lost each other’s traces. The Italians from ‘Chi l’ha visto’ of ‘RAI TRE’ came to Athens to watch closely the research and the presentation of the TV and so did Dutch journalists from the TV shows ‘SPOORLOOS’ and ‘VERMIST’.
Aggeliki in Hollywood
After working hard for 30 years, instead of taking a sabbatical she’s working non-stop on her next project: movies. She wants to dramatize her most profound cases and turn them into movies and documentaries. Being the perfectionist that she is, went to the place she knew she could find the best to work with: Hollywood. “I’m still in the preparation mode. I’m looking into different directors, production companies, doing a bit of research, looking at my options… I think that some of the cases we’ve resolved in the show could make really good documentaries. But such a project requires both time and effort. I need to find the right people….Professionals who can properly handle the complexities of such a task,” she says. And given her accomplishments and her stubbornness she’s destined to succeed.