Given that it is the only country in which French-speaking programmes are made – the channels have very little choice in what they air. So there is a heavy reliance on over-dubbed foreign imports, cabaret shows and commercial breaks to fill air-time.
It is perhaps France 2 that resorts to scraping-the-barrel with cabaret shows the most often. What’s scary about these – is that thet are not a million miles from their long-dead UK equivalents. i.e. if Jimmy Tarbuck were to be dragged out of retirement for a special French edition of ‘Live from Her Majesty’s’ (cira 1986) – I guarantee you that it would be instantly snapped up by France 2 to fill a saturday night slot.
Knife-throwers, magicians, jugglers, ventiloquists and mime artists are still regarded as top-quality entertainment, as are ‘beautiful assistants’.
Yes they still do the “…and will you please welcome my beautiful assistant Isla St-Clair.” thing. Although to be fair, they’re often invited on as commentators or experts, but it amounts to the same thing: a gorgeous girly to do gratuitous cut-aways to when the show gets boring.
Though I’ve actually seen a number of shows where this appears to work vice-versa: i.e. they cut to the show when the girl gets boring.
Quality entertainment? You’ve never had it so good!