Laurent Baffie regrets (almost) nothing from the Ardisson years

” The slap “. This is how the writer Christine Angot described, in a tribune at Libération, the decoration of Thierry Ardisson, with the presentation of the Legion of Honor at the Élysée by Emmanuel Macron on April 11. Since the announcement of the award of the medal to “the man in black”, which made the heyday of the public service, an extract from one of the old issues of the program, dating from 2000, is widely relayed on social networks. We see Christine Angot there, who then publishes her book Leave the citystop his interview and leave the set, declaring that the exercise does not“don’t have fun”. A few seconds before, Laurent Baffie, permanent of the show, gave him a “I'm talking Christine: you listen to me otherwise I'll slap you. » It is this trashy humor which now feeds the detractors of the show and the consecration of Thierry Ardisson by the institutions.

How do we receive these criticisms in the Ardisson galaxy? Do we see a trial a posteriori brought by the spirit of the times, an anachronistic judgment… or on the contrary do we see things differently with the benefit of the years? To find out, Marianne turned to Laurent Baffie, actor, director, author… and Ardissonian sniper. Now aged 65, he takes stock of this program where words went far, very far. Too far ?

Marianne: What do you remember, personally, from “Everybody talks about it”, a show that has become cult?

Laurent Baffie: What really made me known, with Thierry Ardisson, was “Double Jeu”. But from “Everyone is talking about it” I only remember the positive. It was a period when we could say things, and then this collaboration with Thierry Ardisson was like Montaigne and La Boétie: ” Because it was him, because it was me. » I wasn't trained to do TV, neither was he. And we both found each other well and we were very lucky.

You popularized the role of “sniper”, who punctuates the show with jokes, whether facing a world star or a person less comfortable on the sets. Looking back, have you ever gone too far?

It’s clear that sometimes we indulged in convenience. I regret. When there were singers like the L5, for example, they were cannon fodder, and if I could have hurt them I honestly regret it. I heard that Lara Fabian had complained about us in an interview (given to the show “Clique”, Editor's note) and frankly I understand her. We weren't very kind to the singers, and we weren't always cunning.

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Looking back, do you think you were harsher on women than men?

The ease of our valves, it was also with singers. We called them easy prey, but there was never any malice, it was just to make fun. I remember passages with Frédéric François where the same thing happened, or with Jean-Luc Lahaye who was a bit like my Turkish face. So no, we weren't just targeting women.

Since the presentation of the Legion of Honor to Thierry Ardisson on April 11, an extract has emerged where you say to Christine Angot “you listen to me otherwise I'll slap you” while she came to present her book. She then left the set. Do you regret your attitude on subjects of sexist and sexual violence?

My valve was extremely clumsy. She was rubbish and I regret her. But it must be said that everywhere she went there was discomfort. She was taking the shows hostage. For several years Christine Angot has been spreading everywhere. I don't care about her. To me she is extremely rude and dishonest. Especially since I was absolutely not reacting to the subject mentioned in her book but to the discomfort it created. There was a heavy burden when she arrived: nothing should be said. It was creepy.

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Given your tone on set, should some guests not have been invited?

It's not my job to invite people. The guests, I often didn't know them, unlike Thierry Ardisson who worked on his files like a madman for a week. I put my feet under the desk, I wanted to be fresh. Obviously, I made mistakes that I regret. When Jean-Hugues Anglade spoke about the rape he suffered for the first time, I made a completely stupid joke that fell flat. Of the thousands of valves that I have made, I would take away around twenty, including those for Christine Angot and Jean-Hugues Anglade. But in general I kept my mouth shut about dramatic subjects. I was quite rigorous on these subjects. I was there to say stupid things, I gave in to the easy things, but I also made good jokes, sometimes.

Do you think “Everybody’s Talking About It” leaves a positive legacy?

What I remember from this show is that it was a reflection of an era. At the time, people didn't go out on Saturday evening to watch the show. They were afraid of missing something. And on Monday morning everyone was talking about it at the coffee machine. It's over now. People don't care about TV. There is no show that keeps people in front of the TV when they want to go out.

READ ALSO : “That’s all we talked about at dinners”: Ardisson remembers his years on Berlusconi’s La Cinq

Later, with “Hello Earthlings” I had a little less pleasure because I found that the guests were less prestigious and it was more controversial. And I hate controversies and I hate politics, and I wasn't very comfortable with debates so I knew that there I was going to undergo a debate. After the tenth time we were less enthusiastic about welcoming Amir and Amel Bent.

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