We watched Laurent Ruquier’s new show on Paris Première, and he feels right at home

The host, who left his Saturday evening chair to Léa Salamé on France 2, launched a new cultural talk show on Wednesday, “Club Première”, on Paris Première. A wise and unfussy first, centered on the words of the artists.

“I’ve become a lot nicer, I’m approaching 60… Now I like everything! But at the beginning, I cut them, the artists! » Laurent Ruquier laughs, when handing the microphone to a young student in journalism and cinema, installed in the audience of his new show. He invites her to give her opinion on the film The school is ours (in theaters October 26), in front of its two main actors: Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Sarah Suco.

This is one of the finds of Premier Club, its brand new cultural program broadcast every Wednesday at 11 p.m. on Paris Première : to question the “first reader” of a book, or the “first spectator” of a play or a film in front of their authors. To develop this original ingredient, the production cast the speakers in a theater, or in the book department of Fnac…

Without glitter or artifice

For the rest, the host, who wanted to find himself alone at the controls of a program, after a checkered year spent co-hosting with Léa Salamé We are live on France 2, do not overturn the table. For more than an hour, in the Parisian restaurant Le Poinçon – an old train station – which serves as a backdrop, it passes from guest to guest. Among them: the actress Sylvie Testud, the writers Miguel Bonnefoy and Marcus Malte, or even Paul El Kharrat, a regular at Big heads of RTL and whose confidences on his autism can be listened to without flinching.

Neither stage, nor central table, nor arena: Laurent Ruquier, who has accustomed us to more glitz, returns to basics, without glitter or artifice, to do what he repeats as his favorite: question artists about their works, and popularize culture. It’s done casually, in a good-natured atmosphere, like a cultural café, a tad artisanal, punctuated by posts from two young comedians, Thaïs and Tristan Lopin. In this program tailor-made for him, Ruquier, with his eyes always smiling, tries to build bridges between the different artists, faithful to his promise of a “cultural program that does not take itself seriously”. But, any first having its faults, it is sometimes long or messy. We talk about comedy, school, inventions, history of France… Before the tone becomes more serious when Sylvie Testud talks about her play Everyone knew, a rape case adapted from a true story. “I tried to make the news item a theatrical object”, she underlines. “I admired your performance as an artist”, a spectator compliments her.

Here, no sniper columnists for murderous reviews, but two “culture lover” to distil their favourites: the writer Gaël Tchakaloff, and François Renucci, for a section on “the books that we did not remember” : the fifteen that Ruquier receives every day and leaves piling up on his desk at RTL. Renucci has chosen three, which he evokes at the end of the program, leaning on the bar, facing the host who seems at home. Paris Première, he knows, and not only because the channel already broadcasts the TV version of the Big heads : there is animated It swings in Paris between 2005 and 2006.

The pay channel of the M6 ​​group reopened its doors to him with the blessing of the boss of France Télévisions. With Premier Clubthe host of TV kids, on France 2, thus becomes one of the very few to officiate both on a public service channel and on a more confidential private paying antenna.

We watched Laurent Ruquier’s new show on Paris Première, and he feels right at home