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“L’autre midi à la table d’à côté”; Roy – Lafortune discussion summary – Post 3 of 3 (#149)

This post can be useful for you if you’re learning French, if your French is already at an intermediate level.   In this post, I’ll offer you a summary of what the subjects of our last two posts spoke about;  Patrice Roy and Charles Lafortune.

You can also listen to the conversation yourself.   For learners of French:  Without translating the entire show, I’m providing you with summaries of various parts of the show.  The summary below is in chronological order.  You can use the summary as a “crutch” to try to stay on track.  It might be able to help with your language learning, and can fill in the holes as you move through the diaglogue.

The radio show L’Autre midi à la table d’à côté” is the brainchild of François Legault.  Regardless of where you are in Canada, you can listen to a new episode, with new people, during weekdays from 11:00am to 12:00.  It airs nationwide on Radio Première (you’ll have to check the internet to see where Radio Première falls on your radio dial in your part of the Canada).

The web-link for the Patrice Roy – Charles Lafortune audio episode can be heard by clicking HERE.

  • Charles Lafortune is introduced as having been the host of many shows; La voix, impro, comedy, variety. In his 20’s, he appeared on various youth programs (Watatatow, Tam-tam, etc.).
  • Patrice Roy = the chief anchor of the Téléjournal de Montréal. (Montréal’s nightly RC TV newscast).
  • Roy – Is a father with twins. Both Roy & Lafortune speak about how children tend to view the world, and how to relate the world to their children so children can understand the world.
  • They speak about how growing up in working families affected their personalities.
  • Lafortune said he can live with the idea of not having a job in front of the camera precisely because he’s able to take pleasure in other aspects of work. Roy agrees because he says he too loves the behind-the-scenes aspect of preparing for the work day.  However Roy said he still loves being in front of the camera and presenting.
  • Both agree they are under tremendous public pressure owing to the information age provides them with immediate public feedback, both good and bad. They speak about how they attempt to adjust themselves to deal with such pressures.   Lafortune comically says that if someone tweets him a criticism, his way of “dealing” with it and with that person is to re-tweet it to 90,000 of his followers – which usually takes care of the problem 😉
  • Roy says that when he was a news bureau chief in Ottawa, he felt the need to “shake things up”. He chose to take a flight to Afghanistan, and pursue his national reporting from there.  He spoke about the fear he felt, in a very human sense, when bombs fell around him and his crew, injuring many people (including his cameraman who had to have his leg amputated).  Roy had to step up to the plate to help.  He also spoke about post-traumatic stress and how his thoughts have changed on numerous topics.
  • Roy speaks about how his upbringing in a journalist family influenced his own work style and work values, as well as his values towards journalism.
  • Lafortune speaks about challenges he has in raising an autistic child in a family environment (he has to pay attention to many small things, such as having to remain standing when watching hockey games on TV at home so as to keep an eye on what his child is doing). He talks about his biggest anxiety in life, which isn’t his television career, but rather what will happen to his child once Lafortune passes away (he’s worried it could happen sooner than later, as an early heart attack, etc.).  He speaks very much from the heart about quite intimate subjects in this respect.
  • They both speak about Roy watching his father’s health deteriorate and eventually pass away (his father was Canada’s ambassador in Tunisia).
  • They speak of their thoughts regarding how they physically appear on television and what value they give (or don’t give) to it, and why. Lafortune’s first faced public criticism in his 20’s when he say an article about his entitled “Good Looking, but Insignificant).
  • Patrice Roy admits that all television managers he knows in Radio-Canada consider viewership numbers important, and this has a bearing on individual’s behaviour and decisions within the organization, just it does in a private company such as TVA (which Lafortune discusses).
  • Lafortune admits that most of the successful TV productions he is involved in are often most often modeled after those in the Netherlands and Israel (rather than being home-grown ideas. Nor are they modeled after American productions, contrary to what the public may believe).
  • Lafortune speaks about the delicate situation he ran into earlier in 2014 when presenting La Voix the night before the last provincial elections. The show that night was watched by over 2,700,000 people, it was produced by Julie Snyder (the wife of Pierre Karl Péladeau, PKP), who himself was running for election.  He talked of having to be very conscious on stage about how he said things (so as not to be perceived as taking political sides).  (Note for reader… this whole issue regarding PKP, and the influence his role as Québecor’s owner has on the media, is currently a very serious debate in Québec.  Here we hear an on-the-ground 3rd party account which shows it is a consideration which is making some pretty big celebrities feel uneasy or feeling they’re walking on egg shells).
  • Roy speaks of some of his thoughts when covering political matters… and how he approaches certain issues. He also speaks of his thoughts regarding individuals he has interviewed.  (It’s quite interesting to hear his personal thoughts in this sense, since he has to play a completely neutral role on air).  Lafortune then jumps in with some of his own thoughts regarding how political parties and politicians tend to behave.  He speaks about what gets on his nerves.

If your French is at a basic or elementary level, do not get discouraged if you find Roy and Lafortune are speaking too fast.  I’ve studied a few languages, and I know that it can be frustrating when you can’t understand everything, or you feel the dialogue has left you behind as you’re still trying to figure things out.  But you’ll find that, with time, the more & more you listen, the more words will take anchor in your brain, and you won’t have to always stop and try to figure out what’s being said.  Stick with it and give yourself a pat on the back… after all, you’re further along than where you were 1, 3 or 5 months ago 🙂 .

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MINI “EAVESDROPPING” SERIES

Charles Lafortune – An “eavesdropping” short series: Roy-Lafortune – Post 2 of 3 (#148)

This is the second in a 3-part mini-blog series (the first on Patrice Roy, this one on Charles Lafortune, and the next one on their one-on-one intimate conversation when they say down together for a meal on the radio program “L’Autre midi à la table d’à côté”.

Interesting factoid:  For several years running now (including this past year), studies have shown that people across Canada continue to remained glued to their television, and to television programs.  This comes despite an enormous uptick in the space the internet takes in the lives of people across the country.  For many under 40’s, television has simply moved from the box sitting in the corner of their living room, to the small screen sitting on their lap.

What has remained consistent these past years is the amount of time per week Québécois continue to watch television.  Québec watches more television per week than anywhere else in Canada (sometimes only an hour more than the next ranked province, but Québec continues to watch the most television nonetheless).  Canadians can expect to spend a quarter of their week, and a quarter of their lives watching television, and that is more true than ever in Québec (CRTC figures).

What this means is that Québec knows its television personalities very very well.  I could probably even go as far to say that they see and follow the lives of television personalities just as much (and dare I say perhaps even more) than certain family members.

Charles Lafortune :  One person who occupies a big place in some of Québec’s favorite television programs is Charles Lafortune.

My earliest memories of seeing Charles Lafortune come from when I was a teenager and he was an actor in the very popular former program Watatatow (an after-school youth TV show which could be considered Québec’s own equivalent of Anglophone Canada’s former iconic program “Degrassi Junior High”.  – On that point, I have friends who live on Degrassi Street in Toronto.  The first time I was invited to their home last fall, it came to me with “shock and horror” that there actually was NO high school, or any kind of school on Degrassi Street !!  I drove up and down the street twice, and nope… I couldn’t find the school!  I bet you 80% of Anglophone Canada would be just as surprised as I was 😉 ).

Lafortune has since appeared as the main figure in a good number of other very popular television programs with varying degrees of notoriety.   He has appeared in such a variety of programs that he has become an instantly recognizable personality anywhere in Québec and in other Francophone areas of Canada.

A few programs in particular are largely responsible for Lafortune’s high-level notoriety:

  • L’École des Fans (School of Fans) was an on-air children’s sing-along program on the TVA television network for 5 years in the 2000’s. You might ask “What’s the big deal about a children’s sing-along show?”   Well, this one came with a twist, which drew in adult viewership numbers by the drove…  The shows featured individual children singing their favorite pop-songs, but then had the actual music star join the child on stage, and sing with them.   Over the years, such large names as Celine Dion, Marjo, Lara Fabien, Garou, and Mitsou appeared on the show, singing hand-in-hand with the kids.
  • Le Cercle (The Circle) was a popular TVA network gameshow which ran for 6 years, which relied on rapid-fire responses from the players.
  • Catherine was a popular Radio-Canada sitcom which ran from 1999 to 2003.  Lafortune played the ex-boyfriend of the show’s main figure
  • La Voix: Just as Anglophone Canada and other countries often feature more than one popular singing talent show at any given time (example:  the “– Idol”, “ – Got Talent”, “The Voice –“ programs), so does Québec.  Since 2013, Charles Lafortune has been Québec’s host of TVA’s “La Voix” (The Voice) – which was adapted from the Dutch version of the same program.   Home viewer numbers of La Voix are huge in Québec; sometimes ranking among the largest TV viewership numbers in all of Canada – surpassing 2,500,000 viewers for certain episodes!!   (By any standards, those are large numbers of Québec eyes focused squarely on Lafortune!).

Apart from the above, Charles Lafortune has also been a popular radio host on CKOI Montréal (a very popular Montréal radio station), and has been a subject of superstar gossip tabloid magazines over the years.

The next post will give a bit of a summary of what thoughts were exchanged with Charles Lafortune met Patrice Roy.    See you soon!

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MINI “EAVESDROPPING” SERIES