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Thursday, 30 December 2010

Seasonal cock-ups from French TV news

It's the time of year when TV executives seem to have been more than a little unimaginative about how to fill programming schedules.

At least here in France it seems to be turkey-stuffed to bursting point with shows featuring the very best and worst of the year's bloopers, "humorous" outtakes, video gags et cetera - you get the picture surely.

All terribly original of course, and cheap to put together.

Sometimes though live telly provides its own unintentional moments of mirth and merriment - even the more serious side of news reporting.

And such has been the case recently with both of the country's major national channels treating viewers to a split second "did that I really see that?" double take during their prime time news broadcasts.

Oh yes a word on those perhaps as both privately-owned TF1 and public-run France 2 broadcast their two daily news programmes at the same times every day; one o'clock in the afternoon and eight o'clock in the evening.

It's practical really as the running order often differs and if you've only caught the tail end of one particular report, you can simply flick the remote to catch it hopefully on the other channel.

Then there's the editorial line of course. TF1 for example, is often accused of being more pro-government (or perhaps that should read more sympathetic to the president Nicolas Sarkozy) as its major shareholder is the French industrial group Bouygues, whose chairman of the board and CEO is Martin Bouygues.

He's a long-time friend of the French president, was a witness at his second marriage (to Cécilia) and is Godfather to Sarkozy's youngest son Louis. Draw your own conclusions

France 2 is supposedly more objective, but Sarkozy changed the law to allow himself to choose the CEO of the media group to which France 2 belongs, France Télévisions, and in August this year appointed Rémy Pflimlin to take over the job from Patrick de Carolis.

He (Sarkozy) obviously had his reasons.

Anyway back to those bloopers.

First up was TF1, running one of many reports on queues and delays at airports after snow brought yet another dollop of pre-Christmas blues to many.

During one presumable hastily cut segment for the December 18 weekend edition a couple were interviewed as they waited along with their children for their niece to arrive from the southwestern city of Bordeaux.

As the husband explained that her 'plane was due to land one-and-a-half hours late, a woman in the background can clearly be seen effortlessly pulling her red suitcase behind her.

The woman with the red suitcase (screenshot from TF1 news)

Except she's walking backwards!

Oops.



Not to be outdone it seems, France 2 decided to do a bit of its own travelling - in terms of time - at the beginning of its broadcast on Tuesday evening (December 28) this week.

It opened with the graphics telling viewers that what they were watching was not the daily edition of the programme but the weekend one.

Gremlins in the works of course.

Or maybe someone had imbibed a little too much holiday spirit.

Happy New Year - and thanks French TV news.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a nicely written piece! and I learned so much about French television, it's as bad as the television here in Italy.

Anonymous from Naples

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