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Wednesday, 14 August 2013

France 2 prime time news hits five-month ratings high

France 2 can give itself a well-deserved pat on the back.

Its prime time news is once again flying high (so to speak) in the television ratings (handbags at dawn scenario).

Helpfully for those in France who might have a tendency to forget certain things or find televison schedules confusing, both TF1 - the country's main private channel - and France 2 (public TV)  broadcast their flagship news at exactly the same time every evening - 8 pm.

Right now there are stand-ins for the regular weekday anchors who are taking a well-deserved summer break.

Julien Arnaud is filling in for Gilles Bouleau on TF1 while over at France 2 another Julian - but this time with an "a" as in Bugier - is keeping the chair warm for the regular host David Pujadas.

And Bugier seems to be doing a great job because France 2 news has just achieved a "record rating" (or at least the highest since March 2013) with 4.4 million viewers tuning in for Monday evening's edition.

Part of the reason probably is the "show" immediately preceding the news.

France 2 has the rights to the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, and Monday evening was one of the highlights (for the French) with the country's Olympic champion pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie going for gold.

To the disappointment of those watching and the suitably OTT and annoying commentator Patrick Montel, Lavillenie only managed silver.

But the other most likely reason for the upswing in ratings is Bugier himself.

The 32-year-old is personable, professional and...as these things clearly matter in a visual medium - has a face definitely made for television.

Julian Bugier - he looks good even in blurred screenshots (from France 2)

Bugier, you might remember, was the anchor who put journalist Robert Ménard firmly in his place about his opinions on the death penalty during an exchange when both men were working for i>Télé back in 2010.

He joined France 2 in July 2011, firstly as the stand-in (or "joker") for the weekend anchor  Laurent Delahousse when he was away, and then two months exchanging roles with Marie Drucker to become the replacement for Pujadas when the regular anchor was on leave.

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