Same programmes different language.
When I lived in England, I used to watch French television even if the words would pass me by. I was mesmerised by the glamorous interviews, philosophical discussions, sometimes even the weather. When I finally arrived on French soil, I found it even more enticing and slowly the words began to absorb into my consciousness.
At the same time, I noticed many similarities between the programmes I had been watching in the UK and the new emissions I was discovering.
Being an avid football fan Match of the Day is sacred; a condensed opportunity to watch our heroes and villains fight for their teams colours.
An iconic programme which has been documenting the highs and lows, euphoria and history of our beautiful game since the mid 60s. Imagine my delight when whilst browsing the Canal+ website I discovered a French equivalent called Match of ze Web.
A humorous look at the English Premier League presented by an Englishman named Darren Tulett. Dressed in colourful sixties attire he gives an insightful review of the weekend’s events.
A popular programme in my homeland is Come dine with me. The camera follows five contestants who take it in turns to prepare a three course delight chez eux. The French version is called Un díner presque parfait. Both are very similar in their content; perhaps naturally, the French version concentrates more on the actually cuisine whereas in the UK, the bickering among the contestants is more prominent. At the end of each soirée the four guests are asked for their opinions in the form of a mark out of ten. The winner is crowned at the end of the week in a tense finale.
Another cooking related programme is Masterchef which goes by the same name in both countries. The aim is for the contestants to impress the judges with their culinary skills. Both creations take place in beautiful modern studios. Each week the competitors are set challenges which will test their cooking repertoire. The field are gradually sized down until the eventual winner is crowded.
Probably the most popular programme on British television is Strictly come dancing. It’s an extravaganza on Saturday evenings on either side of the channel. Celebrities are paired with a professional dancer and endeavour to impress the judges with their slight footwork and choreographed routines. A house band creates the swing and rhythm. The contestants, dressed in extravagant and daring costumes, twist, turn and swirl their partners around the dancefloor. The French version is called Danse avec les stars and follows the same idea.
Across the world programmes are created, popularised, shared, evolved and adored and although the languages are different, viewing pleasures are universal.All images © Mark E Hill