Five things you may not have known about Jean-Luc Reichmann

Five things you may not have known about Jean-Luc Reichmann

TF1 has been celebrating the anniversary of the 12 noon shots. The channel will also celebrate Jean-Luc Reichmann who, since June 2010, has been on the air 365 days a year with this game followed by some 4 million people daily. Saturday, at 11:15 p.m., after The Battle of the MastersTF1 will broadcast Jean-Luc Reichmann, an extraordinary destiny. As hagiographic as it is, this documentary, nourished by the testimonies of relatives and personalities (Nagui, Slimane, Bernard Laporte, etc.) reveals sometimes unexpected facets of the animator. Here are five of them.

The voice of “Secret Story” gave him the foot in the stirrup

In 1981, in full expansion of free radios, Jean-Luc Reichmann and his friends launched the first of its kind in Toulouse. He also makes his voice heard at the microphone of the region’s supermarkets, including the Mammoth of Saint-Gaudens. Another school of animation. Shortly after, a certain Dominique Duforest spotted him and asked him to become the host of the brand new local branch of NRJ which was about to open in the “pink city”. Jean-Luc Reichmann accepts. His media career is taking shape. The name of Dominique Forest may mean nothing to you, but you knew his tone: it was he who was, for several years, “The Voice” of Secret Story on TF1.

A motorcycle accident of incredible violence

Summer 1984, Jean-Luc Reichmann was driving a motorcycle at 90 km/h when a motorist, arriving in the opposite direction, felt unwell at the wheel. The car veers into the facilitator’s lane. The shock is frontal, extremely violent. Jean-Luc Reichmann is ejected 40 meters away, his spleen explodes. When he comes to see him in the hospital, his brother Bruno faints. “He was all black, it was a bruise, I thought he was dead,” he recalls in the documentary. The injured man spent several months in a coma, underwent several operations and did not return to his parents until a year later. He survived when his condition appeared critical. From this accident, nearly forty years later, Jean-Luc Reichmann still feels “pains”, but he says that they disappear when ” [il] enter the arena. In other words, when the cameras turn on.

The fall of the Berlin Wall changed his life

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. Like all the other newsrooms around the world, that of TF1 is in turmoil and is busy covering this historic event about to change the face of the world. Hélène Toulet, who then took care of the channel’s trailers, prepared one urgently for the 1 p.m. edition. She calls the two actors who usually do the voiceovers for the air: none answer. She opts for a plan B, remembering the spontaneous candidacy of a certain Jean-Luc Reichmann who sent her an audio cassette. She calls him: “Can you be in our studios in Paris in 30 minutes? “. He accepts. And this “yes” will change his life. The test is so conclusive that Jean-Luc Reichmann will quickly take charge of 80% of the voiceovers of TF1 in the early 1990s: trailers, programs (Cinema Sunday, Court…), advertisements… its serious timbre enters the collective unconscious.

An angioma that he ended up assuming

Jean-Luc Reichmann was born with an angioma, a “wine stain”, on his nose. A doctor tries to alleviate it with a treatment with dry ice, which is as painful as it is ineffective. So much so that after a few sessions, the young boy refuses to return. In the yard of his school in Toulouse, he is mocked by his classmates who call him “the stain”. Little by little, he will use humor as a defense, to federate around him. “It is thanks to this difference that I have made seduction of my profession”, declares Jean-Luc Reichmann in the documentary. In 1995, he took his first steps as a presenter in front of the camera, in The Z’amours, on France 2. A layer of make-up hides her angioma. He is not comfortable with it. After three months, he gets rid of the foundation on his nose and asks that his “spot” be visible, fully assuming it.

The clause he imposes in each of his contracts

Jean-Luc Reichmann is a caring big brother with his sister Marie-Laure, deaf from birth. He teaches her to read lips, shows patience to support her, challenges her – going alone to buy two loaves of bread, for example – so that she gains autonomy, he includes her in his group of ‘friends…

Jean-Luc Reichmann and his sister Marie-Laure, in the early 1970s. – DR / Reichmann Family Archives

When, a few weeks after the launch of Z’amours, he comes back for a ride in Toulouse, he asks his sis how she finds the game. His reaction is not what he expected. “I realize that my sister does not understand,” he laments. Rather than resigning himself to this realization, the host demands that the program be subtitled. Consequently, each of its contracts includes a clause requiring that all the programs it presents be systematically subtitled.