In this program, it is about French touch, in the broad sense of the term?
Claire Chazal: Given the theme, if we can avoid anglicism, I prefer! (Laughs). With Third Eye, the company that produces the show, we wanted a dialogue to be established between our various guests. Very quickly, we thought of French excellence, which we were able to demonstrate by having representatives of major institutions such as the Louvre, the French Academy, the Paris Opera on stage, as well as representatives of song, haute couture and great French cuisine.
You even have a presidential couple!
Yes Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni. He has a great appetite for this subject. And I must say that Carla was very friendly and generous. They are rare together on TV sets. They have some nice talks…
Carla recounts on set the artistic and cultural heritage received from her parents. What have yours passed on to you?
My parents were from very modest backgrounds and grew up through state competitions and a bookish culture. Me, I discovered alone, quite early moreover, through childhood friends theater, dance, cinema and opera later, around the age of 20 years. I can’t say that my parents pushed me towards performing arts, it wasn’t part of their culture.
On the other hand, this culture forged on the job, you transmitted it a lot to your son François…
It’s true, his father also by the way (the ex-presenter of the JT of TF1, Patrick Poivre d’Arvor). He got used to it, then tasted the culture. We shared a lot of moments of shows, concerts, cinema…
Do you have an artistic part in you? You have always been practicing classical dance…
Maybe deep inside me then! Yes, I practice it seriously but as an amateur, just as I read literary works on stage because I like to transmit but I would not dare to say that I am an artist. When I see dancers. But if I didn’t follow this path, it was because I wasn’t good enough.
In the show, you receive Laurence des Cars, the first woman to run a museum on the scale of the Louvre. Still a long way to go?
Yes, that’s for sure, but I’m more in favor of looking for talent than systematically favoring gender equality. Parity laws are necessary but I don’t like the idea very much… I want good and capable people, whether they are men or women.
You are not a feminist at all costs?
Absolutely not. I have lived all my life in a form of freedom and personal fulfillment that I have sought. I am not for victim feminism. I don’t like complaining. I never saw myself as a victim, but on the contrary as a fighter.
Even after having worked for a long time in a very masculine environment?
I lived it like a normal fight, in a competitive environment but this fight, the men led it too. As a journalist, I didn’t have to assert myself more because I was a woman. At TF1, there were a lot of women department heads and this is still the case. I can even say that my condition has benefited me. In 91, when I took the head of the JT, I know that I was favored because it was necessary to balance a very masculine antenna.
Will we find you on the air at the start of the school year?
Yes because we have two numbers of the Great Chessboard to program. However, no certainty about Passage of the arts for the moment. I hope so because it is a show that is close to my heart…
And return to information?
No, I’m far from that. Of course, I have wonderful memories of it, I’m still interested in the television news that I watch from time to time. Sometimes I even feel frustrated sometimes, when there are particular events. But my return is absolutely irrelevant. The places on the news are filled and I will never go on a continuous news channel. This is not a review but it is not my way of informing myself.
Can we say that you need passion everywhere in your life?
Yes, completely. When it’s for humans, art or literature, I’m whole. I absolutely love it.
Interview with Amandine Scherer
The Grand Exchequer, Friday 1er July at 21.10, on France 3