The big news in France today is that Marina was knocked out of Star Academy last night. This is surprising because until recently it appearred that she was the only contestant on the show with any real talent. However last night the audience were given a choice between Marina and the dark, tatooed and far sexier Dominique, and the rest as they say is history.

What’s most surprising however is the fact that I even know this – given that I must watch less than four hours of TV per week!

Incredibly ‘Star Ac’, which follows exactly the same format as Fame Academy in the UK, is now nearing the end of it’s sixth season and shows no signs of letting up, already a seventh series is planned.

Unlike in the UK where all the major channels have their own music talent shows jostling for viewing figures, in France it seems there simply is no competition. Star Academy is out there on it’s own, the other channels don’t even bother trying to compete anymore and simply slap on dreary repeats while it’s on.

The fact is – Star Academy is now so much part of the French psyche that even if you’re not interested, whether you like it or not, you can’t help but get drawn in.

The only British TV show that I can think of that draws the same sort of loyalty, affection and viewing figures is … Only Fools and Horses.

So what does that say about the British versus the French?