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Québec’s 20 most trusted individuals: 12th and 13th positions [post 7 of 11] (#262)
Québec’s 20 most trusted individuals: 12th and 13th positions [post 7 of 11] (#262)
These next two figures in the list of the “20 most trusted people” have forever shaped Québec’s cultural landscape and collective psyche. As a reminder, this list comes from a recent poll of Québec’s public.
#12 Alain Gravel –
Montréwood and Québec’s #1 rated investigative journalism TV show is named Enquête. It is a Radio-Canada production.
Since 1997, Alain Gravel has been the main host of Enquête (which means “Inquiry” in English).
However, in September 2015, he will be giving up his position has the host of Enquête to take the role of Radio-Canada’s main morning radio host in September 2015 (replacing Marie-France Bazzo, who left Radio-Canada in April 2015, owing to a mysterious “divergence of opinions with management”; her words, not mine).
When Gravel does assume his new role as Radio-Canada’s main morning radio host, he will be directly competing with Paul Arcand (in the #3 position on the 20 most trusted individuals) for the top spot as the most listened to radio-host in Montréal (and the entire province).
Getting back to why Alan Gravel is the 12th most trusted individual in Québec…
In Québec the investigative journalism program, Enquête, is perhaps more influential, with higher “proportional” viewership numbers, than “The Fifth Estate” & “W5” in English Canada, or “60 Minutes” in the United States.
Enquête has become so powerful, that it recently lead to one of the largest political and collusion-related shakedowns in Canadian history.
If you refer back a couple posts to France Charbonneau (the #7 position on this list), the Charbonneau Commission may have never taken place had it not been for Enquête. Enquête tirelessly investigated and broke the story about illegal collusion between construction companies, unions and provincial government procurement bidding. The investigation came with a risk to the personal safety of the program’s reporters, and one of the alleged participants involved in the collusion scandal even sued Gravel for $2.5 million – which many assume was to try to stop the program’s investigation.
Nonetheless, the program continued its investigations and blew the lid off the whole story. A number of the program’s episodes aired the results of the investigation in 2009. The public’s faith in the Premier Charest’s Liberal government plummeted when Charest refused to launch an inquiry. This was one of the reasons why Jean Charest lost the 2012 election, after which the Charbonneau Commission started.
The public’s trust in Alain Gravel’s and his team’s work shot through the roof – to the point that he is now one of the most well-known, trusted public figures in Québec.
#13 Guy A. Lepage –
Guy A. Lepage was the topic of one of the very first posts of this blog. His talk show, Tout le monde en parle, was the topic of the very first blog post I wrote (the translation for Tout le monde en parle is “Everyone is talking about it”). You can read both of those blog posts by clicking the blue links. It is the second highest rated television program in Québec and Canada (after TVA’s La Voix).
Tout le monde en parle airs every Sunday night, across Canada on Radio-Canada television. It sometimes draws in over 2 million viewers per episode.
The fact that I chose to write about him and his show when I first launched this blog should already be an indication that there is something very unique about him.
Most people refer to Lepage as simply as “Guy A.”
I am going to say right up front that there is a major ideological difference between Guy A. and myself. Publicly, Guy A. can be “quite” political. He is sovereignist, he has strong nationalist sentiments for Québec, and he’s an advocate for a very strong, rather heavy welfare state. Deficits and high taxes (especially for corporations, but society in general) do not seem to be an issue for Guy A. He is quite far left (sometimes I’m not sure if the NDP would be far enough left for him). He used to vote for the Bloc Québécois (he lives in Gilles Duceppe’s former riding), but I suspect that he voted NDP the last go around (he won’t confirm that though). But with that said, Thomas Mulcair seems to be a favorite guest of his show (Guy A.’s riding is now NDP, by the way — the riding in the Le Plateau district of Montréal — Canada’s strongest Left-leaning riding).
Contrast that with me… I too can sometimes be “quite” political (if you haven’t noticed from time to time). But I am federalist, and my nationalistic sentiments are a bit wider – for both Québec and the rest of Canada. I too take an interest in both Québec’s and Canada’s progressive future… but I have a notable streak of financial and business (small “c”) conservatism in me (a range of politics which Lepage generally has not looked favorable upon). I would say that economically, I certainly am further to the right of Guy A. Fiscally, I am right of centre (Lepage is to the left). But on social issues I’m more centred and left of centre (if I feel we can find a way to pay for the programs with a balanced budget). Thus politically speaking, I’m kind of all over the map – which makes me a political orphan. And my vote has a tendency to be more fluid.
That’s all to say that Guy A. Lepage’s politics and my politics are not the same.
Yet, I have a good deal of respect for Guy A., and my respect for him has only grown with time. I believe I have seen him change as a public figure over the past two to three years – from someone who tries to “push” a political agenda through his television program, to being someone who tries to “round out” everyone’s views through his television program. He doesn’t shy aware from where he stands politically, but he seems to be making more and more of an effort to include “alternate” and “competing voices” in public debate.
Québec’s “public political debate” forum has always been in its legislature. But there seems to have been a metaphorical shift the last decade. It seems to have shifted, in large part, from the National Assembly (the Québec legislature) to Guy A.’s interview program, Tout le monde en parle.
Metaphorically, he is both the interviewer and the “Speaker of the House”. Every Sunday night, a huge portion of Québec’s public rushes home to make sure they catch the latest show (which runs for 2 hours and 30 minutes !!). It is also simultaneously broadcast live on the radio across Canada. It is the #1 rated program for Radio-Canada.
The issues of the week are discussed openly on the show, and players on all sides are invited. Invitees can be as varied as politicians, celebrities, pop-culture icons, professionals, sports stars, and ordinary people. The who’s who of Québec society regularly appears on the program, as do all major news-makers. Guy A. makes an effort to invite panels of opposing views, which can sometimes make for interesting sparks.
Careers have been made as a result of appearing on Tout le monde en parle, and other careers have been broken following appearances. Regardless, it would be political or career suicide to not turn down an invitation to appear on the program (if you are not there to defend yourself when you are going to be the topic of conversation, you might as well hang up your hat on the spot).
An example: Jack Layton probably would have not taken all of Québec, when the NDP won the province in 2012, had he not accepted Guy A.’s invitation to appear on Tout le monde en parle. He performed brilliantly on the program, and the next day his popularity in Québec went through the roof. In many ways, it won him the province. Likewise, Justin Trudeau appeared a couple of times on the program, and (hmmm… how should I put it…) his performance was “less than stellar”. The Federal Liberal’s ratings in Québec went down after his appearance, and it has never really fully recovered (he appeared during the winter of 2015, and it is now May 2015).
Guy A. is a strong supporter of the Arts and Entertainment industry. Little-known signers have been invitees on the program. But after their appearance, they became instant household names and saw amazing record sales (New Brunswick’s Lisa Leblanc is a prime example… she became a huge French-language music star after appearing on Tout le monde en parle).
On the opposite end of the scale, there was another celebrity, a comedian (who will go unnamed) who made mesogenous remarks about another celebrity on his blog. He took a lot of heat for that move, and was sued. Appearing on Tout le monde parle perhaps was his last chance to publicly redeem himself. He appeared on the program, but came across miserably. The public seemed to lose all confidence in him, and days later he permanently retired from show-business.
Guy A. is not only one of the most well-known people in Québec, but his program’s “soft-power” makes him one of the most powerful people in Québec (this is truly not an understatement).
I admit that I used to be more than a little concerned that he was wielding his own political views a bit too much on the program, in support of his own political agenda. The controversial nature of the program shot the ratings through the roof! It was a windfall for Radio-Canada (the advertising dollars were spectacular!!). But at the same time, it must have also been a huge ethical and moral dilemma for Radio-Canada; in the sense that the #1 program for Canada’s “national” public broadcaster had a pro-sovereignty, and very far-left political bias to it (I cannot imagine being the head of CBC / Radio-Canada and having to deal with such a scenario).
But as I said, Guy A. has tamed down remarkably (Of his own free will? Perhaps, but I don’t know). I and everyone else knows where he personally stands on many issues. But I think we all recognize that his tone has changed. He now seems to give more space (actually a good portion of the show’s overall airtime) for opposing views. He does so in a very respectful manner (much more respectful than in the past, without much of the past “cynicism” we used to expect from him or 3/4 of his panel).
That’s why he has earned my respect. It is an extremely difficult thing to try to remain politically neutral, or to give political breathing space to opposing politics. For such a political-oriented personality as Guy A. Lepage, the challenge must be even greater than for most people.
But the results of his efforts are visible, and commendable.
As a side note: I have met a few people who “personally” know Guy A. Lepage. Although I have never met Lepage him myself (perhaps I will some day), people who know him tell me he is one of the most personable, most “humble” people you could meet… without any sign of having an off-screen “confrontational” character, or of having an ego. I suppose that says a lot too.
When you take all of this into consideration, that is why he is one of Québec’s most trusted individuals.
The next post will look at two very interesting characters.
Québec’s 20 most trusted individuals: 10th and 11th positions [post 6 of 11] (#261)
Let’s kick off the second half of the list of the 20 most trusted people in Québec.
# 10 Philippe Couillard –
The last post contained the first appearance of a politician in the list. The second highest ranked politician on the list enters this list – and it is none other than Québec’s own sitting Premier, Philippe Couillard (Liberal), who takes the #10 spot.
I’m not going to go into all of his biographical information. Rather, I’ll try to sum up why I believe he is the highest ranked “provincial” politician in this list.
Couillard been Québec’s Premier for just a little over one year (having taken the premiership in April 2014). In politics, one year can be a lifetime. Yet Couillard still maintains the top spot as the most trusted provincial politician in Québec. Poll after poll of the last few months also indicate he is the most “popular” politician of the most “popular” party (the provincial Liberals).
It is a honeymoon which has not yet quite faded (but which is being met with some challenges).
Why is this? I have my own pet theories, and I can share some of them with you.
- Couillard is viewed as someone who is trying to get the average Québécois out of a financial squeeze. Québec is one of the highest taxed, most indebted, and most bureaucratic jurisdictions in North America. Despite generous social programs which provide a well-supported “lift” for certain sectors of society (particularly families), the middle-class has been financially squeezed. It is a financial pressure which average people could feel.
With a rapidly aging population, low birth rates and low levels of immigration (when compared to a few other provinces), a growing debt, and low rates of new business growth/investment, people could see that the squeeze would get even worse.
Apart from a growing debt, just prior to Couillard taking the reins of power, there was talk in the wind of a debt rating downgrade which would have increased the costs of servicing the debt. The result would have meant that the average person would have been squeezed even further.
A brain surgeon by training, Philippe Couillard took a surgical view to remedying the problem. He sought to make cuts and some structural changes to the government, civil service and bureaucracy to balance the budget. Many critics have called the measures of austerity. Yet, I’m not sure his measures met the popular definition of austerity. Rather, I think in most people’s minds, his measures were viewed as “short-term-pain for long-term-gain”. They were budget cuts (with accompany restructurings to be able to achieve the cuts); but just enough to get rid of the deficit and to be able to post modest surpluses.
To put it into perpective: On the budget control scale, you have
- splurging on one end,
- budget cuts / balancing / restructuring in the middle, and
- austerity’s slash-and-burn / government dismantlement on the other end).
In Greece and Cyprus, we saw austerity. In Italy, we saw “near austerity”, in Alberta in 1993 we saw “near austerity” (with a 22% decrease in the size of government following the Klein cuts). What we have seen in Québec over the past year has been nothing close to the “popular” definition of austerity (I think less than a 5% reduction in government expenditures if I am not wrong, but accompanied with an actual growth in government size by about 1 or 2%).
I think that ordinary people recognize this does not constitute the “popular” definition of “austerity”.
I also think they recognized that the “rebalancing” measures Couillard has taken are likely to bear fruit in some form or another (it only took him one year to balance the budget – another clear sign that it was not structural, year-after-year long-term austerity).
I believe this is one of the reasons why people trust Couillard.
2. I believe there is one other big reason why people trust him.
Yes, Couillard is a politician. Let there be no doubt about it. He strategizes and plays the game like all politicians. But he does not seem to get caught up in trying to force trending-ideologies down people’s throats, or social-engineering in order to gain power.
After everything people in Québec went through with the student strikes of 2012 (and the short-lived student “fart” of 2015), after the social divisiveness people felt from the PQ’s proposed Charte des Valeurs, and after what people perceive as an “tired” ideological battle involving the sovereignty movement, I think people have been “ok” with Couillard’s refusal to engage in such politics (people might not be overjoyed with Couillard, but he’s acceptable in people’s minds).
This does not mean that everyone agrees with Couillard’s style of politics or decisions, but it does mean that there is a large enough portion of the population who would prefer Couillard’s style over others. Enough at least that Couillard is considered Québec’s most trusted provincial politician.
#11 Chantal Hébert –
This is one of the people who I would personally have placed in the top three. But the #11 spot is not so bad either.
Regardless if you are Anglophone or Francophone, if you watch the news anywhere in Canada in either language, you already know Chantal Hébert. Thus, there is not much of an explanation needed on my part. She is likely high up there in the trust level of most people across Canada (and not just in Québec).
But I will offer you some fillers.
She is one of Canada’s best known political commentators. She is a regular on the CBC, as well as both the television and radio divisions of Radio-Canada. Hébert has a column in the Toronto Star, and another in Le Devoir. More recently, she has been a best-selling author. (And then there are those memorable light-hearted parodies of the last couple decades which we’ve all laughed at across Canada).
She is known for her straight talk and unbiased opinions. What I love about her is that she has no qualms about holding back the way she sees things, and will support her views with anecdotal observations and facts.
Here is an example of what I mean:
She will sometimes make an appearance on television programs to give an unbiased opinion. But the audience and host are known to have a bias. In such circumstances, the host will set up a question so that he / she expects the answer to play into their own bias. But yet Hébert will come out with the most unexpected, objective answer – leaving everyone to eat humble pie. You can’t imagine how many times I have laughed out loud at such situations.
Here is a case in point: Last Sunday, Hébert was an invitee on the Radio-Canada talk show Tout le monde en parle (TLEMP). This show has the second highest television ratings in all of Québec and Canada (behind TVA’s La Voix). It’s a program which has a reputation for being “biased” towards the left, the Québec nationalist movement, and sovereignist guests (although I have to admit that I have seen quite noticeable effort on the part of the hosts to appear less biased over the past two to three years… credit where credit is due). Regardess, the show attracts a certain studio audience.
On last Sunday’s show, the host’s (anti-Conservative) panel took a shot at Prime Minister Harper for having started the trend in Canadian politics of locking out the media with an information blackout. From the expression on the faces of the audience, you could see that the audience loved such a comment (as did the other panelists).
But then Hébert quickly pointed out that it was actually Lucien Bouchard and the Bloc Québécois which started the trend of controlling the media message in Canadian politics, and Harper simply learned from the Bloc Québécois. You should have seen the sour looks on everyone’s faces when they heard the facts which Hébert presented to them. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. She took the wind out of everyone’s sails in her usual calm, composed style.
On the same show, but back in 2013, the host and panelists again took shots at the Conservatives for being information control freaks, and for being information manipulators. They took temendous joy in criticizing the Conservatives of twisting facts to portray an inaccurate reality to the electorate (I don’t necessarily disagree with them — but they were having more fun with their Harper-bashing then a kid on Halloween, owing to a tad bit too much of an ultra-nationalist discourse). But what happened next left everyone speechless, before a television audience of 2.3 million people.
Hébert began to cite example after example of the types of tricks certain politicians undertake to control information so as to manipulate public perception and views. She talked about how scientific evidence is suppressed, about how statistics are manipulated, about how messages are distorted and then force fed to the public using government funds. She went on and on, listing this this, that, and all the rest.
As she went down a lists of the sneaky, dirty tactics which she feels Québec is falling victim to, everyone in the room (mostly pro-PQ supporters) were nodding their head in complete agreement. The grins on their faces said it all. They all agreed the tactics Hébert listed were the lowest of the low, and the sneakiest of political moves.
But then Hébert put a name to who she was talked about… and it was not the name anyone expected (they all thought she was talking about Stephen Harper). Hébert said all of these things were exactly what Pauline Marois had been doing as the head of the Parti Québécois.
You should have seen the shock and horror on everyone’s faces when they realized that Hébert was talking about the Parti Québécois and not the Conservatives. To make matters worse for this traumatized group, Hébert supported her arguments with examples and facts! You could see that the pro-Parti Québécois audience and panelists were mortified by the fact that they had all just agreed, inadvertently (and in front of 2.3 million people), that their own party was up to a bunch of dirty tricks.
It was hilarious !!!
And that, my friends, is precisely why people in Québec trust Chantal Hébert. She calls it as she sees it.
Chantal Hébert is only one of two people on this list of 20 who is not from Québec.
Most people in Québéc are not aware that she is not originally Québécoise, but is actually Franco-Ontarian (although she lives in Québec now). She was born in Ontario, was educated in Ontario (at Glendon College in Toronto), started her career in Ontario, and worked for much of her life in Ontario (she used to work as a reporter covering Queens Park in Toronto). This little tid-bit of info is something which usually takes a number of Québécois by surprise when they hear it
Coincidentally, just yesterday, a friend from Laval (Québec) and I were talking about the Alberta election results. We both gave a nod to the fact that Chantal Hébert’s predictions were dead on. My friend said to me “See… there’s one Québécoise who knows lots about Alberta.” I answered “She certainly knows her stuff, but she’s actually from Ontario.” My buddy from Québec was shocked. (I guess he must have thought “I was the only one” from outside Québec… hahaha).
Regardless, people can’t get enough of her – which is why everyone always whats to hear from her. Regardless if she is originally from Québec or not, in most people’s hearts in Québec, she’s part of the family – and they trust her.
In the next post, we’ll look at a very “interesting” investigative reporter, and the host of one of the biggest talk shows in the country (both of these people are tied into others figures already discussed in this list). See you soon!
Guy A. Lepage (#4)
Guy A. Lepage was mentioned in this blog’s first post as being the host of Tout le monde en parle.
Where does one begin (or end) when talking about Guy A. Lepage? From a pop-culture point-of-view, he has a long list of accomplishments – a force unto himself over a period of 30 years, with wide reaching appeal in Quebec culture (but from his youthful looks and energy levels, you’d never guess he was born in 1960!).
It would take a book to write about the number of cultural and popular awards he has won, or just how well-known he is with Francophones.
In pop-culture, there are past references we can all recall from when we were younger; references you can joke about any time, and have them instantly understood by your peers. These shared experiences create a feeling of belonging, commonality, and sense of “yah, I remember that — yes, we are cut from the same mould – , and yes, we get each other in a way nobody from another culture could”.
That’s why pop-culture is an important building block to nationhood in the social sense. In an English-Canadian context, an example of might be the “Chicken Lady” from Kids in the Hall. Despite how long the show has been off air, many Anglophone Canadians in their 30’s or 40’s (maybe even 50’s) would instantly understand the context if you mimicked the Chicken Lady. Even regurgitating that the “Polkaroo” call from Polkadot Door makes for instant recognition — a bonding feeling of “Yah, I get you… we’re definately hatched from the same nest!” (mention Polkaroo to someone in Prince George, Moose Jaw, Windsor, or St. John and you’ll get the same nod and smile).
Guy Lepage has appeared in so many popular programmes, on so many different media platforms, that it could be said he has been a source of many Québec pop-culture references over the past 30 years. He has become a bonding figure for Québec pop-culture and society in general through the major events in Québec during that period. That’s a powerful force in all senses of the word. Whether it’s on purpose of inadvertent, pop-culture holds sway and influence over public opinion on a range of issues. Being at the helm of numerous programmes also means one has a degree of control over the business and economic end of what the public will see when they turn on their television or radio in the evening.
He rose to stardom as one of the main actors in the regularly aired comedy group Rock et belles oreilles (simply known as RBO). It ran for nearly 15 years on TV. For comparison sake, its presentation style was similar to that of Kids in the Hall. Kids in the Hall could be considered risqué for its time, often making fun of issues like sex and homosexuality, at a time when it was daring to touch upon those subjects on TV — let alone make fun of the issues (remember the “anal probes”?). In a national sense, the programme probably played some role in pushing the envelope of public awareness and acceptability.
With that reference in mind, RBO also used humour during the same era, but to a broader and deeper degree (sexual inuendo, homosexuality, politics, sovereignty issues, Anglophones, Francophones, public figures of all streams and colours, and various ethical issues). The majority of the sketches may not have been overly controversial, but by integrating humour into sensitive topics, RBO captivated the province and drew in the masses.
Since the programme disbanded, the actors went their separate ways and continued on various paths of stardom. But none of them achieved the status of Guy Lepage today.
In the early 2000s, he became more focused on the actual production of TV programmes. He created the Québec version of the France TV programme Un gars une fille, which ran weekly on Radio-Canada from 1997 to 2003. Apart from being the producer, Guy was also the main co-actor. The show became supremely popular, centered on the funny and quirky dynamics between a husband (played by Lepage) and his wife. The success of the series cannot be underestimated. It’s one of the most internationally prize-winning TV series in Canadian history, and has been adapted and copied in 26 other countries, more so than most any other TV programme in the history of television — full stop. With that, Lepage has a larger-than-life status in Québec and francophone pop-culture (it may now be more apparent why I mentioned two posts earlier that there were Francophones seemingly “shocked and horrified” when Le Journal de Montréal poll revealed the vast majority of Anglophone Canadians had absolutely no idea who Lepage was – despite the international accolades he has attracted towards both Québec, and Canada as a whole).
Since Un gars une fille went off the air in 2003, Lepage was further propelled into the sky when he adapted the France TV interview show Tout le monde en parle to create the still-running Québec version, starting in 2004 (the topic of this blog’s first post).
Apart from these achievements, Lepage has been an actor in several movies, he’s been the host of several major TV events (Québec national award ceremonies, annual galas, live televised celebrations, etc.), a stage-actor, an actor in commercials, and the producer of other artistic endeavours (with the TV comedy Les Chick’n Swell also having been galvanized in Québécois collective memory).
One of the most surprising aspects of his career is his brilliance as in interviewer. Perhaps it is owing to his boldness stemming from his RBO days of pushing the envelope into uncharted territory, or perhaps it is his overall confidence stemming from his contact with all aspects of society – but it’s undeniable that his talents as a provocative, probing, and quick-witted interviewer are quite unique. There are elements of Québec society who may not agree with the direction he takes his interviews, which battles he picks and choses – or who he choses to single out in interviews (he does have political and social opinions), but few would deny his talent. He nonetheless deserves much respect and accolade.
With all of this behind him, it’s a wonder Guy A. Lepage has time to sleep. And with his energy levels and determination, it will be interesting to see what comes next, what it will lead to, and how it will shape Québec society’s collective views.
References to search online to view or read:
- Tout le monde en parle (TLMEP)
- Un gars une fille
- Rock et belles oreilles (RBO)
Radio-Canada sells past programmes in various formats. Please do not pirate.
Tout le monde en parle (#1)
“Tout le monde en parle” (Everyone is talking about it) is Québec’s most watched weekly television program (with millions of viewers per episode). The viewer numbers are so large, that it actually is not an exaggeration to say the streets of Québec and Francophone Canada are quiet on Sunday evenings because everyone is inside watching the program.
The show regularly interviews headline news makers, and often in a controversial manner. The irony is because the interviews are so audacious, Tout le monde en parle itself regularly becomes Québec’s headline news story the day after it airs. There has been nothing quite like it in Canadian or Québec history (and possibly nothing like it in the history of North American television).
It is a long-running TV interview show (since 2004), filmed in front of a live-audience, broadcast once a week (two hours every Sunday evening, from 8pm to 10pm) on Radio-Canada. It is broadcast across Canada – thus regardless where you are in the country, you will be able to watch it. It is not broadcast during the summer. It was created by household-name Guy A. Lepage (one of Quebec’s best known actors, comedians, and interviewers).
It takes the format of Guy, and his sidekick Danny Turcot, interviewing well-known personalities from cultural, media, news, or political spheres — sitting at a table opposite to the hosts. Topics are most always on current events related to those being invited. Several invitees will often appear in one show, sitting side-by-side. Often the invitees will have opposing points of views. Because of this configuration, sparks can sometimes fly, and unexpected debates can ensue, especially if the opposing views of the invitees are of an emotional nature (think politics, or ethical issues).
The program often has heavy societal, social, and political overtones — often shrouding subjects in a serious overtone. The host has entrenched political views, and his questions can become very pointed, critical and less-than-subtle (aimed at both friends and foes alike). However, regardless of the host’s own political or social views (which do come through on the show – there is no doubt about it) Guy A. Lepage plays it cool, adds a lot of humour, and it makes for a great entertainment factor.
The program also provides the audience with a rare chance to see celebrities, politicians and other newsmakers in either a relaxed setting, or under the heat (questions and criticism of the invitees can become very unbalancing — which is precisely one of the reasons the show is so popular). For this reason, it’s one of the highest rated, and best known television shows in Quebec — hence “Everyone is talking about it”.
The most famous names in society appear on the program, but even if someone is not so well known, they will be a household name after appearing on the show (in the hours running up to the show’s airing, Lepage has even been known to tell lesser known guests to get ready to become a household name and recognized everywhere as soon as the show goes to air).
Because of popularity of the interviewees, this is one of those shows which is a sure-fire fast-track to familiarize oneself with popular topics and people being currently discussed in Quebec society during at the office water-cooler, among friends, or in the news.
For Anglophone Canadians, it is also a great way to improve your level of French (you’ll find guests speak with a mix of styles of French, be it standard québécois, local accents, and sometimes joual).
– The show’s official website is http://ici.radio-canada.ca/tele/tout-le-monde-en-parle/2014-2015/
– The show’s wikipedia article has highlights of some of the better known moments:
- (English) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tout_le_monde_en_parle_(Quebec)
- (French – much better) http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tout_le_monde_en_parle_(Qu%C3%A9bec)