Same programmes different language.

Mark E Hill 08/11/11

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.

Mark Hill 08/11/11

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.

Mark E Hill 08/11/11

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

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Mark E Hill

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  1. Shannon Guy Nov 22, 2011 at 6:28 PM - Reply

    Hi Mark

    Great article. As an avid Arsenal supporter, and a recoverig MOTD addict, I welcome the news that we have an equivalent in France. I suspect that this news is going to be a dagger in te heart of my social life, in much the same way that MOTD was when I lived in the UK.

    My favourite example of television similarities between France and the country of my birth is L’Amour Dans Le Pre. I remember a French friend who came to stay in Australia a few years ago on a 1 year working holiday visa who blogged about his experience. He saw the original version in Australia – Farmer Wants A Wife – and wrote a whole blog post about it: what rubbish television they have in Australia, here is a prime example etc.

    Imagine my surprise to discover, upon coming to France, that it now exists here as well!

  2. Emmanuelle Tremolet Nov 22, 2011 at 7:41 PM - Reply

    Doit-on se réjouir d’avoir les mêmes programmes un peu partout ? En France, les chaînes publiques ont des quotas, elles doivent acheter un minimum de programmes TV français produit en France par des entreprises françaises. Exception culturelle: 2 mots sacrés en France.

  3. Julie Gourichon Nov 28, 2011 at 12:07 AM - Reply

    La télévision française reprend un nombre assez importants d’émissions anglaises ou américaines. Ça fait de véritables cartons!!

    Certaines séries purement françaises sont pourtant toujours appréciées 🙂

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