Radio is his childhood dream, his teenage passion, « Maybe more than television », and a large part of his adult life. It is therefore natural that Laurent Ruquier chose, for his aperitif, a Parisian palace on rue François-I.is, the artery of 8e district historically known to house the premises of Europe 1, very close to those of RTL, rue Bayard – until the two stations moved in 2018.
« Here, it’s really my neighborhood: I live there », he specifies, tumbling down smiling, after having had his complexion evened out quickly in a room at the Grand Powers. Writer, playwright, producer (Ruq Spectacles), Laurent Ruquier has hosted daily, since 2014, “Les Grosses Têtes” on RTL. He also presents on France 2 the Sunday program « Les Enfants de la Télé » and, since the start of the 2020 school year, « We are live » on Saturday evening with Léa Salamé. « Most of the time, I work », recognizes this man in a hurry.
Listening to Laurent Ruquier is a bit like hearing a recording after checking “speed 1.5”. It bursts. The repartition, the “flow”, has been his profession for thirty years. A mechanism that does not adapt well to deviations. So, when he orders a detox cocktail made from carrot, orange, ginger and turmeric juice, it is not because he does not drink alcohol, but just that« With my days, I cannot ». In the evening, on the other hand, at the end of the week, he appreciates great French wines, « Rather burgundy », and Italians. “The good ones, but also a glass of Lambrusco secco, a wine that makes you happy, even if I don’t necessarily need it to be. » The man relaxes.
He settled into a mini-sofa, comfortably dressed in a thick black-and-white herringbone tweed suit. « I like to buy my costumes at Dolce [et Gabbana], Saint-Laurent, Givenchy or Dior. I have the means to do it, why would I deprive myself of it? » He suffered from not knowing the dress codes when he arrived in Paris, at the age of 25, after a childhood spent in Le Havre, his hometown. « I was quite bored », he recalls. To escape his daily life, he then recorded all the broadcasts of “Grosses Têtes” on cassettes.
« I have seen some in this profession – a lot – with ready-made files, but a program like » Les Grosses Têtes « is something you can experience »
When in 2014, RTL offered him to replace Philippe Bouvard at the head of this cult program, it was obvious. “I said yes right away. I knew the show so much: it was my destiny! « Today, with 2 million listeners on average during the week, « Les Grosses Têtes » prances at the head of audiences from 3:30 to 6 p.m., France’s leading podcast (13.8 million listens in total). He had to modernize the casting, smoothly. To the survivors of the Bouvard era – Valérie Mairesse, Gérard Jugnot -, he added newcomers: Sébastien Thoen, Jeanfi Janssens, the history specialist Franck Ferrand, Arielle Dombasle, or the young autistic Asperger Paul El Kharrat, « Who knows everything about everything ». Others had to leave, like Jean-Marie Bigard. « He’s the best storyteller, but he fell into such a conspiracy … »
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