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France Picks Its Nose

photo, luxembourg, sunday

Thousands of sun worshipers jam Luxembourg on Sunday.

Strange Smell?

Paris:– Monday, 21. March 2005:– The hit British TV reality show 'Great Brits' has been given a Gallic scent of garlic, amusing offshore news organizations somewhat more than the French, who have seldom wondered who among them is most popular national hero because Charles de Gaulle snared the top spot between periods of being a traitor and the ex–President of France.

Despite the heavy advance promotion by France–2 TV for last Monday night's 'Le plus grand Françaisphoto, balloon, parc andre citroen, saturday de tous les temps,' I easily managed not to watch it. I have nothing against diverting television entertainment but normal French TV is usually too silly to be diverting, even though veteran host Michel Drucker is not a total jerk.

Try the Parc André Citroën for skyhigh balloon rides.

For Monday's amusement he was back–stopped by Thierry Ardisson, who used to pretend to drink jars of whisky in the Palace disco on Saturday night TV. Thierry now looks like he's being groomed to take over from Michel who is probably getting tired of doing 38 variety shows a week. At any rate both of these TV personalities got on the top 100 list too.

To compound my error, I failed to read Le Parisien's account of the show on Tuesday. The sun was shining on the terrace of the Raspail Vert café when I looked at the paper, but I had neglected to bring my specs and read the wonderful weather forecast maps instead even though it was happening at the time.

It was the Wednesday post from Alan Pavlik to hisJust Above Sunset that alerted me to the Brit interest in this matter. First off, I don't think the French are 'baffled' – Le Parisien often says the French are baffled by this or that, but most French only become aware of their bafflement by reading the paper.

Brits are, of course, fascinated by heros. For their TV show they picked Winston Churchill as their top of the tops hero 'of all time.' It must have been a difficult decision considering all the world–class scoundrels they have to chose from.

The French are constantly being polled so they have become accomplished liars. According to the official history surrounding this affair, exactly 1038 of them were asked to pick their 'top heros' lastphoto, pont alexandre September. Fortunately 2076 names were proposed, so that a master list of 100 major personalities could be composed and from this the top ten were selected, to be put in numerical order from one to ten, somehow.

Or stroll along the Seine's quays.

The official history says that somebody will vote for the top ten, while documentaries are shown, one at a time, on this 11–episode TV show. Various personalities will be on hand to champion their heros, so the whole thing will be vastly entertaining, or diverting at least.

That Jules Verne outpolled Bonaparte tells us something vital about the French that baffles the Brits. The first football hero on the list – Zinedine Zidane, true hero! – is preceded by singer–composer Serge 'Gitanes' Gainsbourg and followed by Charlemagne, Lino Ventura, François Mitterrand, Gustave Eiffel, and Emile Zola. Trust the French to have a German and an Italian in their top 100 list.

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