“We inevitably become an old fool,” says Laurent Ruquier

D-day for Yesterday Today Tomorrow. Laurent Ruquier launches this Tuesday at 9:10 p.m. its new program on France 2. In this program co-produced with Thierry Ardisson, who comments on archival tape recorders, the host opens the debate on four societal phenomena making the news. In this case: telecrochets, the World Cup, prostitution and the dreams of teenagers. How were these topics discussed yesterday? Viewers will know from the footage of theINA (National Audiovisual Institute). Several personalities will then be gathered on the set of the show to discuss it.

Laurent Ruquier thus returns to the first part of the evening on the second channel after having left the second part of the evening of Saturdays at Lea Salamealone in command of What an era! “I have no regrets or remorse,” insists the presenter, who confided in 20 minutes.

How did you come up with the idea for the format ofYesterday Today Tomorrow ?

It was born out of a little frustration… I do TV kids [émission diffusée chaque dimanche à 18h35 sur France 2] where we dive a lot into the images of the past but only from the angle of entertainment and in front of guests for whom we are essentially looking for “pans”. I said to myself: “If only we could also do it for the news, it could be interesting. Moreover, the television news does not hesitate from time to time to resort to images of the past to comment on those of today. But, of course, they can’t do that for forty minutes. This is the very principle of the program, we use images from the INA to see what the French were saying at the time, to relive the major events related to the themes addressed… We want to show that There have been changes in our society through images but also through on-set debates.

Why is it important to go back in time to analyze the facts that mark society today?

First, because it is sometimes surprising. It is clear that there are subjects on which opinions have changed a lot and others not. There are immutable anxieties. For example, I was interested in going to see the musical starmania last week… We notice, by seeing what [Michel] Shepherd and [Luc] Plamondon forty years ago, that the subjects and anxieties of today were already those of yesterday. Maybe they were a bit visionary…

Is this your own way of dealing with certain movements, particularly in the United States, which would like to hide the past?

Yes. I’m not going to tell you that I’m a big fan of today’s society with all that can be said about digital society, speech that has become a little freer and sometimes too much… I think that inevitably we become an old fart and we always think that it was better before. But it’s not so sure… Because of nostalgia, it’s often hard to realize that now, it’s not so bad. And it was not necessarily better at another time even if there were undoubtedly decades more favorable to youth or artistic creation for example.

The program will be presented and produced in tandem with Thierry Ardisson. He confided in February 2022 that he shared with you a “lunch of reconciliation”. Was this the starting point of this collaboration?

Not really. We never got angry with Thierry. We always had lunch together once or twice a year. But we hadn’t worked together for a while. Although, he had come to Big heads for a few shows several years ago – I actually dream of him coming back. He’s a bit like me sometimes, making sweeping statements. I never held it against him. He is someone to whom I owe a lot. I have great loyalty in this profession, when it does not exceed certain limits.

However, when you launched We are liveyou had closed the door to the production of the show because you considered it “too divisive”…

Things are much simpler than that and Thierry understood it himself. I couldn’t fire Catherine Barma as producer to find myself on Saturday evening in the same box being produced by Thierry Ardisson… I already have problems [il a été condamné en juin à verser 780.340 euros à Catherine Barma, décision dont il a fait appel] so imagine what it would have been like. It’s not that I refused, it’s that it was impossible.

You said recently “to be spoiled enough on TV to be able to leave when things are not going well”, is your return in a second program on France 2, a few months after your withdrawal fromWe are liveis the illustration?

Yes. I consider myself lucky, I have no regrets or remorse. We managed to hold a box for seventeen years… I’m not going to complain about what television has given me. Not to mention that for eight years I did a daily with We tried everythingas well as’We only ask to laugh for three years… I’m lucky to have had three big television successes which, I think, have left their mark. I never felt like the owner of a box so if I feel that people want me less, I leave it willingly.

Should we deduce that this square is not missing?

At all ! (laughter) Television and artistic life is made of twists and turns and I have so much joy with the artists I produce that I consider myself to be very spoiled. It’s not one show less or more that changes much for me…

The duet presentation did not suit you. You find yourself again alone to animate this new program. Does that satisfy you?

Yes of course. I think it’s always easier to host a show alone. All the more for We are live because we were just live. In this context, there is one important thing to manage, and that is time. Together it’s very difficult to do, we are inevitably frustrated because we work a lot, we can only use 10 to 20% of what we have prepared. It was true for me as it was for Léa. So yes, I definitely prefer to animate alone. This has never stopped me from sharing on my shows. I have always put forward many artists who have today become leaders in their field. The latest is precisely Philippe Caveriviere which continues today with Léa but I am proud to have been the first to put it on television, beyond its role as author.

You are approaching 60. Your entire career has highlighted these young artists. Don’t you think that a new generation of presenters could also take over?

There are. In recent years we have seen the arrival of Cyril Féraud on the public service, Cyril Hanouna on C8, Camille Combal on TF1… But it’s true that all the difficulty is to last, to use the phrase of Michel Drucker who is much older than me [il a 80 ans]. Animators who appear, there are some, but few remain.

Is there a secret for that?

The recipe is to make the audience. But as TV attracts fewer and fewer viewers, it’s more and more difficult. We know that it’s a medium that has aged and I’m not sure that young people watch it that much. Will a young animator necessarily satisfy the viewer whose average age is higher? It is not so simple. There has always been room for old and new but I think it’s more difficult today than it was in another era. So it’s normal that, from time to time, the chains rely on safe values ​​even if I admit that it’s not very modest…

So what qualities should the animator of tomorrow have?

It’s not easy to say. Me, I got out of it through hard work and I hope that’s what pays off above all else. Sometimes there is also knowing how to attend the necessary lunches but I have never practiced like that, it is perhaps also for that that I sometimes had some setbacks (laughter). I’m not one to be friends with managers. If they take me, it’s for my talent, not for my address book. Above all, I would like us to be able to convince with new concepts, which is never easy and we can clearly see that we have a tendency to go around in circles…

A new format, so that’s what you’re going to try to install tonight…

Absolutely. The advantage of this show is that at least we will try to offer something new. I was here yesterday, I’m here today and maybe I’ll still be here tomorrow (laughter).

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