REPORTAGE – France 2 serves a smiling breakfast to its viewers every day. After a successful season, the four hosts of this meeting reveal the atmosphere that reigns behind the cameras.
The song was not chosen at random. According to a scientific study conducted by a researcher in cognitive neuroscience, this masterpiece of the Queen group released in 1979 would be a launching pad to happiness. Every music lover would feel an incredible sense of well-being to the sound of this hit. No wonder the “Télématin” teams chose Don’t Stop Me Now as a generic. From Monday to Sunday, from 6:30 a.m. on France 2, hundreds of thousands of French people eat this slice of good humor for breakfast, on which a duo of presenters generously spreads a jam of information. A hearty meal whose menu consists of a multitude of recurring chronicles, and a television news every half hour.
Weather, cultural and international news, political interviews, humorous notes, gems from the web, new technologies: the faces that brighten up this meeting juggle between laughter and seriousness for three hours of live. “Our audience is just as informed as if they were watching a news channel. The difference is that we give them a good mood., believes Julia Vignali, who pilots “Télématin” with Thomas Sotto, from Monday to Thursday. When the pair formed a year ago, the ex-host of the “Best Pastry Chef” naturally took on the role of teaser when his friend wore more serious information over his shoulder. Very quickly, the two presenters freed themselves from their label. Especially when the war in Ukraine broke out.
“It’s one of those shows you don’t forget”
Maya Lauqué, presenter of “Télématin” on France 2.
For several weeks, the more entertaining subjects were relegated to the background in favor of more dramatic international news. “I was on the air the morning the war broke out in Ukraine. We completely broke the conductor. It’s one of those shows you don’t forget.”says Maya Lauqué, who embodies the morning show of France 2 from Friday to Sunday with Damien Thévenot, since August 2021. Before uniting professionally with her sidekick for better or for worse, the journalist trained for eight years an emblematic public service duo with Thomas Isle, in “La Quotidienne”, on France 5. “I consider Damien as my new guy”she confesses with humor, stating that the latter facilitated her integration into the team.
An alarm clock that rings at 3:30 a.m.
Because this host knows the mornings of France 2 better than anyone. In 1998, he landed in “C’est au program”, hosted by Sophie Davant, before appearing punctually in “Télématin” the following year. He even became, in 2017, the joker of Laurent Bignolas, who carried this show for four seasons. At the dawn of his 50th birthday, the alarm clock that rings at 3:30 am no longer frightens him. “I used to be reasonable and now I’m not anymore… I sometimes allow myself to go out and I’ve only slept for two hours, he confides. Paradoxically, I am in better shape when I sleep little.
“What happens in this office does not come out of it!” »
Thomas Sotto, presenter of “Télématin” on France 2.
On the other hand, Thomas Sotto did not manage to mend his ways with the ringtone that drags him out of the arms of Morpheus every night. “It’s physical… Especially from November to March, when it’s raining heavily”, reports the joker of Laurent Delahousse, who however quivers with impatience at the idea of finding his comrades at the start of the school year. Because behind the cameras reigns an atmosphere of frank camaraderie. Every day, at 5 a.m., the journalist welcomes Julia Vignali with a coffee that he has elegantly prepared, before taking over the office of Ophélie, the show’s producer, for a moment of relaxation.
With Victoire, their closest collaborator, who joins this confabulation, Julia and Thomas remake the world and exchange at random. “This is our favorite gossip moment. But what happens in this office does not come out of it!, he promises. After a few minutes of tough negotiations, his playing partner finally let us go. “We laugh, we talk about those who came home late from yesterday evening… But, when something unexpected happens, like a columnist positive for Covid-19, it can be hot too”reveals Julia Vignali.
This lightness that reigns in the corridors of France Télévisions in the morning is most certainly explained by the excellent audience scores that the show has recorded since the launch of the new version, in August 2021. From Monday to Friday, 800,000 faithful consume without moderation this concentrate of joviality, i.e. more than 26% of audience share. In one year, the first morning in France progressed by 2 points. Faced with these results, the leaders of France Télévisions have no intention of revolutionizing the mechanics of the show. Only one or two columnists will join the band at the start of the next school year to inject a homeopathic dose of new blood.
The interviewer Caroline Roux, meanwhile, hands over to Thomas Sotto the reins of the “4 Truths”, the political interview scheduled every day at 7:40 a.m. “I approach this meeting with serenity, excitement and humility”, confides the one who will now question the tenors of power. The presenter of “C dans l’air”, on France 5, leaves the liner “Télématin” to take control of “L’Émission politique”, which Thomas Sotto has been carrying with Léa Salamé since 2018, and which he refused to reinvest for a new season.
37 and over
Apart from this cathodic transfer, viewers should find the appointment they cherished so much. The one where the good humor of the speakers is so communicative that it pierces the screen. The one where burning news blends harmoniously with light information. The one where Freddie Mercury compares himself, in Don’t Stop Me Now, to a shooting star leaping across the sky. Thirty-seven years after its arrival on the public service, “Télématin” has not finished enthroned in the firmament of the French audiovisual landscape.
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