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Monday, 7 April 2014

Olivier Falorni - well and truly "April Fooled"


Remember Olivier Falorni?

He's the man who, after having received the support of that infamous Tweet from the former first lady Valérie Trierweiler, went on to beat Ségolène Royal, the Socialist party's official candidate for La Rochelle, in the 2012 parliamentary elections.

(screenshot Le Grand Journal, Canal + January 2014)

It was a defeat which stymied Royal's chances of being chosen to be the president of the national assembly and left many wondering whether she would ever make a return to frontline politics.

Meanwhile Falorni took his seat in parliament, joining the group of the Parti Radical de Gauche, (Radical Party of the Left, PRG) rather than that of the ruling Socialist party.

And little or nothing was heard of him in the national media...until last week that is.

Because the 42-year-old was the "victim" of an April Fool: one played on him by the comedian and impersonator, Gérald Dahan.

April 1 was the day the newly-appointed prime minister, Manuel Valls, was busy putting together "his" new government - and an ideal opportunity for Dahan to continue his practice of playing pranks on well-known people (and especially politicians) by ringing them under the guise of being someone else.

He has done it before to the likes of, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Nicolas Sarkozy and, yes, even Royal.

It might not always be particularly clever or amusing, but it invariably reveals more than the butt of the joke might wish to be made public.

And that's exactly what happened on April 1.

Dahan rang Falorni, pretending to be Valls and wanting to know whether the 42-year-old would be interested in a job in the new government.

During the course of the conversation, Falorni disclosed what he (and many others) thought of Royal: how she was "uncontrollable and unpredictable" and how working with her (or under her as a junior minister) would be unthinkable.

But as you can hear from the clip which Yann Barthés and his team at Le Petit Journal on Canal + (inevitably) played on Friday evening's edition, Falorni eventually agreed to accept a position in the government with Royal as his immediate boss.

There are also some delicious behind-the-scenes disclosures from Falorni as to how many of those public alliances between "leading" members of the Socialist party are...well "surprising" to say the least.

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