Thierry Ardisson in “Le Monde”, the medalist for provocation

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He came as a neighbor. On April 11, Thierry Ardisson was invited to 55 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, in 8e Parisian district. At the Elysée therefore, to be made a knight of the Legion of Honor by Emmanuel Macron. A few steps from his home, at number 93 of the same street, where the host and producer once invited personalities, writers and stars of the moment, during dinners filmed in the show “93 Faubourg Saint-Honoré”, broadcast on Paris Première from 2003 to 2007. Honoring his career, the President of the Republic greeted a “a character of total freedom, provocative and erudite”. Enough to trigger a lively controversy, particularly following the presence in Christine Angot’s autobiographical documentary, A family (in theaters), from an extract from a program dating from 2000 where the novelist, guest, had suffered mockery concerning the incest of which she was a victim.

Alternately scratched or celebrated in these columns, “the man in black” has rarely left anyone indifferent. Thierry Ardisson invites himself into The world anecdotally, on November 20, 1978. In a column, director Claude Massot is worried about the breakup of the ORTF. Among a list of abandoned projects, he cites a series called The discreet charms of the colonies, which had worked on “the author Thierry Ardisson”.

His name took two years to reappear, on 1er September 1980, amid a right of reply and a controversy surrounding his interview methods. Thierry Ardisson hardly liked the title of an article, “Noah, trapped, defends himself”, in which the special envoy of World at the Flushing Meadows tennis tournament looks back on a misadventure by Yannick Noah. The sporty one, “went partying “with friends””, let loose on the subject of doping, before seeing his remarks published in the magazine Rock & Folk. But Thierry Ardisson, who, with his colleague Jean-Luc Maître, took the athlete’s words, assures him: no trap set for the champion, he had not drunk “nothing other than blackcurrant syrup” during the interview.

He multiplies these interviews in the form of interrogations, published in Rock & folk, before being compiled in a book praised by Raphaël Sorin on June 8, 1984. In the eyes of the collaborator of the World, also editor, the technique of these “two journalists from advertising and novels (…) is very to the point: Ardisson and Maître recorded the equivalent of one hundred and eighty pages of interviews to keep eighteen. » The Ardisson method is already there. It will explode on the small screen.

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