INTERVIEW – This month of July, the journalist of the M6 group since 2016 once again takes over the reins of the television news. The chance for the “Zone Interdite” host to discuss her role as a prankster, as well as the next unpublished issues of her research magazine.
On July 18, 2016, Ophélie Meunier presented for the first time the “19.45” as a wild card of the holder Xavier de Moulins. Since then, the journalist has fulfilled this role for several weeks in the summer, such as this season from July 18 to 28. “ A habit ” but also “ pleasure for the host of “Zone Interdite”. This summer, the research magazine will publish four new issues focusing on holiday-related themes. As an extension of our summer series, Ophélie Meunier shares her first memory of a joker on Canal +, but also her clear vision of this journalistic role.
LE FIGARO. – How do you see this summer as an information joker?
Ophelie MEUNIER. – There is no particular concern, because like other summers, it is a habit. Every year in July, M6 entrusts me with the television news for a few weeks. This responsibility is a real pleasure to me. I know the team well and this exercise is a bit of a change from my daily life at “Zone Interdite” and on the radio.
Aside from the unexpected, would you say the news is less dense in the summer?
No, because we’ve had summers far too often for a while where the television news opens up about fires and environmental destruction. It’s clean in the summer. Life goes on, so does news. Certainly less in politics when the National Assembly is on vacation or in other similar topics. But there’s a lot more going on in the summer than you might think. The days are far from boring.
What is the Joker’s responsibility to the viewer?
Today, viewers are so used to seeing the same pranksters during school holidays and summer. There is no liability. The situation is as natural to humans as it is to me.
“Xavier is delighted that I will take him over when he goes on holiday, because he is reassured”
What memories do you have of your first time as a joker?
I remember it very well. I was a journalist for Canal+. I presented the “12.45” and the “18.45” at the time. This new joker role was a continuation of my studies, my beginnings in journalism and my first jobs. It was a real step forward and a lot of fun.
Can a joker add a personal touch to his newscasts?
The television news is primarily a format that serves the news. The signature should remain quite light. Admittedly, everyone has their own tone, their own way of writing and telling stories, but information still reigns supreme. We can talk even less about drawing when we’re pranksters. Unlike holders who can offer formats more similar to them. In my summer role I try to keep this cabin as pleasant and clean as possible until Xavier de Moulins returns. The priority is not to sign for two summer weeks.
Will you trade with Xavier de Moulins, who will replace you?
No, and lucky for him, by the way! If I replace him, he should be able to disconnect and rest on me without worrying. If he talked to me, that wouldn’t be good news. I want him to leave with a clear mind and he is. After that we know each other and we see each other a lot because we have been working on the same channel for a number of years. I think Xavier is very happy that I take over when he goes on vacation because he is reassured. For my part, I’m also happy if he gets his info box back and I get my rights to “Prohibited Zone”.
This summer also presents you four new songs from “ Restricted Zone »…
In the summer, the signature of our magazine is to offer new formats. It is forbidden to offer viewers warmed up. “Zone Interdite” tries to stick to the wishes of the season every time. Our team enjoys subjects more, in a spirit of discovery but also of caution. Summer also rhymes with scams by vacationers. One of the problems of this summer season will focus on how to fix the methods of scammers and thus avoid getting stuck. At the same time, “Zone Interdite” offers two wonderful subjects in the French islands. Since the pandemic, the French tend to travel to France to rediscover its beauty and small national gems. Our Breton or Mediterranean islands are wonderful for getting away from it all.
What are your plans after this summer?
I follow “Zone Interdite” and the “Journal Inattendu” on RTL. The editor-in-chief and presentation of these two programs make me work six days a week, the rest of the time I take care of my children.