At 94, Philippe Bouvard, founder of “Grosses têtes” will retire after more than 60 years of career at RTL

At 94, Philippe Bouvard, founder of “Grosses têtes” will retire after more than 60 years of career at RTL

Philippe Bouvard lors de la conférence de rentrée RTL en septembre 2017. MAXPPP – Vincent Isore

La voix de Philippe Bouvard sur RTL, c'est bientôt fini. Le journaliste, âgé de 94 ans, a annoncé qu'il prendrait sa retraite au mois de janvier. Ce sera son 60e anniversaire de carrière dans la station.

Retirement soon for Philippe Bouvard: the tireless 94-year-old journalist, who still writes a weekly column on RTL, announced on Sunday that he would cut the microphone in January, on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday on the air, "a world record", according to the station.

"There is a temptation, which is not a temptation of laziness, but a temptation of record, that is to' ;#39;going until January 1st, that won't be bad enough, and then listening to others and being silent", explained Philippe Bouvard Sunday on RTL, in reference to the retirement that he refused for a long time.

Les Grosses têtes launched in 1977

"Because on January 1st, I will have established the double record that I was hoping for, that is -say 60 years of radio and 60 years of RTL" justified the one which started in 1965 at Radio Luxembourg, which became RTL in 1966, before launching &quot ;The Big Heads" in 1977 and made it the most listened to program in France.

"I would love to have that one (this record, editor's note), because, I won't hide it from you, I&#39 ;I really liked the radio, and the radio gave me back ", added the journalist who looks back on moments that forged his career in "The portraits of Philippe Bouvard", Sunday at 6:40 a.m. on RTL.

In a press release, the M6 ​​group radio station paid tribute to its emblematic figure and his "world record" of "the host who has done the most seasons on a station".

"Erudite pioneer of humor"

His career has "revolutionized radio", said the president of RTL, Régis Ravanas, quoted in the press release. “We understand his choice, but (…) Philippe knows that he belongs forever to the RTL family”, he argued.

Program director Gauthier Hourcade paid tribute to a “erudite pioneer of on-air humor” with a “lively, independent and impertinent spirit”.

After 37 years hosting “Grosses têtes”, Philippe Bouvard reluctantly gave up his place in 2014 to Laurent Ruquier, who was called in to rejuvenate the show, which he has “never listened to since“, as he explained in December to Var-Matin. RTL then entrusted him with "Allô Bouvard", broadcast on weekends until summer 2020.

Philippe Bouvard has also been writing a column in the monthly VSD for four years and is preparing a 70th book, entitled "Retirement ? Not the end of life, but the beginning of a new existence", according to his interview with Var-Matin.

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