The country’s most popular (in all senses of the word) TV channel - the privately owned TF1 - commissioned TNS Sofres to carry out a poll to find out which programmes the French preferred watching.
And according to the results - which compared like with like so are open to interpretation - weather bulletins, and more specifically those of TF1 (surprise, surprise) scored the highest individual rankings in their particular category.
Of those questioned 52 per cent said they preferred TF1’s weather forecasts over the 20 per cent that plumped for the bulletins on the national public channel France 2 and 3.1 per cent on France 3.
And there was some pretty grim news in terms of the efforts of the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, to try to get the French watching more home-grown TV (by doing away with advertising on the nation’s public channels....yes there’s a link there somewhere, but it has never been made quite clear as to how) with US imported series scoring well on all the private channels.
They make up the backbone of most channels’ broadcasting it seems, and in that particular category TF1 once again came out on top. It outranked its main national commercial competitor, M6 with 48 per cent to 35 per cent respectively.
Canal + - the main satellite telly provider came in third in the category at 20 per cent, with France 2 having to make do with just seven per cent.
When the category was broken down by series, the most popular was Dr House on TF1 (13 per cent) followed closely by Desperate Housewives (12 per cent) on M6.
Moving along to Reality TV - yes the French have that too, and by the bucket load - it was neck-and-neck between the two private channels TF1 and M6 once again - 44 per cent to 43 per cent.
No great shock perhaps as both rely heavily on it for pulling in the viewers (and the advertisers) with public telly seemingly still taking the moral high ground.
Topping the Reality TV preferences then were TF1’s Koh Lanta (a French version of Survivors) with 28 per cent followed by Pékin Express (A Dutch-inspired hitchhiking series which doesn’t yet have a US or British equivalent - 18 per cent) and Nouvelle Star (Pop Idol - 15 per cent) over on M6.
Finally, before the proverbial pants are completely bored off you, and your head is sent spinning with statistics, the home-produced programming.
And guess what? In that category it was TF1 (40 per cent) once again coming out ahead of M6 (24 per cent) with France 3 (16 per cent) and France 2 (15 per cent) trailing some way behind.
So the moral of the tale and the conclusions to be drawn?
Well threefold perhaps.
Statistics and surveys don’t lie - ahem - especially when you’ve commissioned a poll in your own interests and it comes up with the information you want to read.
The French love US imports and Reality TV as much as the rest of the world.
And the weather is as important in France as it is anywhere else.