INTERVIEW – On July 11, the reporter found the audience for the noon edition. The septuagenarian is confident in this role that he has been playing for 25 years now.
His diary is in his image. Jacques Legros promotes 13 Hours of “proximity” with the audience through the topics it offers. Both on screen and when we meet him, the journalist generously shares anecdotes and points of view related to his experience of more than 40 years in the media. As a joker in TF1, he also celebrated his 25th summer this year. Next October, Marie-Sophie Lacarrau’s successor will also release a book titled Behind the screen – 40 years at the heart of the media, where he talks about his career on television (France Info, LCI…) and on radio (France Inter, RTL). To continue our summer series, Jacques Legros, who agreed to do from now on “piece of furniture” on the TF1 channel, shared his vision, his memories and the stakes in the role of the news joker.
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LE FIGARO. – How do you see this summer in JT?
Jacques LEGROS. – This is a constant. I always think that summer will be cool, like a moment of grace in a year that is quite heavy on the news, and every time I mess up… Summer represents the worst of times. We have had terrible fires for over ten days, an incredible heat wave. We still reached 42 degrees in Paris, it’s not a gift! So like every year, I go in my little newspaper swimsuit and finally, quickly put on the battle gear (laughs).
More than expected, does the news stay dense in the summer?
Still. In terms of climate, events, disappearing personalities… Something is always happening, the vacation season is no longer a parenthesis. But when the news calms down, we return to lighter topics, to the theme of the holidays, and fortunately… After months spent in the midst of Covid, politics or conflict, we need to escape.
How to set up 13 Hours of TF1 “light” topics for the summer?
We love to travel and take the audience to places they don’t know. In particular through the theme “must see vacations”, a set of ten minute topics. We were in Portugal last week, between Porto and Nazaré. This week, we are in the Luberon, one of the French’s favorite destinations.
What is the responsibility of the joker vis-à-vis the viewer?
Exactly the same as the holder. I must admit that I am in a somewhat unusual situation because I am celebrating my 25th summer at 13 Heures. I’m a bit of a piece of furniture! But I present every newspaper in the summer like Christmas or any other time of the year. With some light touches that come to be included.
What are your memories of your first time in this position?
A disaster! (laughs). Although I have been well grounded for many years in France Inter, France Info, RTL or LCI, and know the principle of news presentation. But I admire the power of this place, of what it represents. This TF1 set is so legendary to me. All the prestigious guests I saw during the great news on television! They were right where I was sitting!
“With Marie-Sophie Lacarrau, we always have the principle of letting whoever is in charge do their job”.
Can a joker add a personal touch to his newscasts?
Definitely. Every journalist has his own personality. If we respect a typical editorial line, it is possible to put a little of your passion, your conviction, your experience or experience. Newscasts have evolved according to society but bringing their personal touch and sensibility is part of the game.
One sentence sums up my state of mind. “To bring to the screen ideal values, able to provide solutions”. I love pictures of people doing things for others. During the fires in the Gironde, we insisted on actions of solidarity, like this village mayor who completely committed himself to the service of the firefighters. Or this woman who came to cook to feed the firefighters. I really want to value these examples. I consider this one of the missions of 13 Heures, a local newspaper.
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Did you replace Marie-Sophie Lacarrau, the holder you replaced?
We talk about small things but always have the principle of letting whoever is in charge do his job. For others, our discussions are friendly, not professional. Like after his live broadcast from Narbonne in the most beautiful market in France. I am writing to him to share my great appreciation for his work. He is perfectly in control of the difficult exercise.
What we find in Behind the screen – 40 years in the heart of the media?
Through my experience, I offer a view of the evolution of information and society more broadly. From the typewriter to the omnipresence of mobile phones and images in our time. When I was young, I didn’t have a television at home! I have lived through revolutions, especially as a journalist. Ways of working and society have changed dramatically. I found it interesting to share some thoughts. Anyway, I really enjoyed writing it.
How do you see the current journalism profession?
It’s hard to answer without being rude or dishonest… Let’s say they are a bit like our society, made up of immediacy, mass sharing, social networks. Because of a certain youth and need for productivity, newsrooms no longer demand the same reports as before. When I went to Egypt for work, I was not forced to report on a subject. Now, I have to return five. We are in an information compression. In the book, I mentioned the creation of France Info and LCI, in which I participated. I call it “Pandora’s box”. Once opened, we have no control over it and, above all, we cannot close it.
Do you have another project after this summer?
I’m working on another book with the philosopher Laura Lange. Together we will discuss topics such as the environment, idols, work, Covid or even the IPhone… We want to provide elements of analysis on these themes. And why not push the reader to question his own habits?
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