The presenter of the legendary Antenne 2 literary program “Apostrophes” and “Bouillon de culture” has left us. Moving Testimonies about Bernard Pivot


The presenter of the legendary Antenne 2 literary program “Apostrophes” died in Neuilly-sur-Seine at the age of 89, his daughter Cécile announced to AFP.

A book in one hand, his pair of glasses in the other, he also presented the program “Bouillon de culture” and organized from 1985 the Dicos d’or, a spelling championship which quickly became international.

Bernard Pivot, a reader as scrupulous as he was brilliant as an interviewer, has established himself over the years as a popular figure well beyond the small Parisian literary milieu.

“Apostrophes”, on Friday evening, was watched by several million viewers. Great connoisseurs of literature or modest book lovers, they appreciated the witticisms, the strikingly concise thoughts, the lyrical tirades or the shouting matches that Bernard Pivot knew how to provoke in the invited authors.

“He was cheerful, he was funny. He was friendly, deeply sympathetic,” said another great figure of 80s television, Anne Sinclair, on BFMTV.

The proof with this witticism on Twitter in 2016: “The habit of radio stations calling me when a writer dies is so great that, the day I die, they will call me”.

Bernard Pivot, a lover of good wine and humor, had no equal when it came to relaxing the atmosphere on his set. And, in live conditions, to raise the debate.

Giants of the 20th century sat opposite him to discuss the title they had just published, such as Marguerite Duras, the boxer Mohamed Ali or the Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

“Literature is suffering an immense loss. He is, in my eyes, one of those mediators for whom I would say that in Europe also an old man who dies is a library that burns,” wrote the Franco-Congolese writer Alain Mabanckou on X.

“He loved books with gusto, like food, except that his literary appetite was never satiated,” said Jacques Attali, writer and former advisor to President François Mitterrand.

“We are losing a great man of culture and TV,” said the general director of France Télévisions Delphine Ernotte Cunci.

Bernard Pivot, who easily admitted his limitations as a writer, then exercised his influence at the Académie Goncourt. Joined in 2004, president in 2014, he withdrew at the end of 2019.

The Saint-Étienne football club also paid tribute to the memory of this football enthusiast, loyal to the Greens. “ASSE salutes this man of letters (…) driven, like many others, by the passion of Saint-Etienne”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button