Philippe Bouvard, pillar of RTL radio, announces his retirement at 94

Philippe Bouvard, pillar of RTL radio, announces his retirement at 94
Philippe Bouvard, pillar of RTL radio, announces his retirement at 94

After six decades behind the microphone, Philippe Bouvard is preparing to turn the page on an exceptional career. The iconic RTL host announced this Sunday, June 23, during his weekly column “Les portraits de Philippe Bouvard”, that he would retire in January 2025, at the venerable age of 94. A decision which marks the end of an era for French radio.

A double record to crown an extraordinary career

If Philippe Bouvard chose this precise date for his departure, it is no coincidence. The host is indeed aiming for a final feat before hanging up the microphone for good. “There is a temptation, which is not a temptation of laziness, but a temptation of record, it is to go until January 1st, it will not be bad enough, and then to listen to the others and to be silent”he explained on RTL.

And to add: “Because on January 1, I will have established the double record that I hoped for, that is to say 60 years of radio and 60 years of RTL. It is the radio record.” A record of which he is particularly proud at his age: “I would really like to have this one, because, I won’t hide it from you, I really liked the radio, and the radio did it well for me.”

This exceptional longevity makes Philippe Bouvard the host who has spent the most seasons on the same station, a world record according to RTL. A consecration for the man who began his radio career in 1965 on Radio Luxembourg, which became RTL a year later.

From “Big Heads” to the Sunday column

Philippe Bouvard’s career will remain inseparably linked to the “Big heads”a cult show that he created and hosted for 37 years, from 1977 to 2014. This show quickly became one of the most listened to programs in France.

When in 2014, the management of RTL decided to entrust the reins of the show to Laurent Ruquier, Philippe Bouvard experienced this change as a heartbreak. “It was not me who made the decision (to stop) but I accepted it. The announcement of this abandonment, because it is one, is heartbreaking”he confided at the time.

Despite this difficult handover, the host never really left the RTL channel. He notably animated “Hello Bouvard” on weekends until 2020, before devoting himself to his Sunday column “The portraits of Philippe Bouvard”.

Beyond his radio career, Philippe Bouvard has led a prolific career in various fields of media. A trained journalist, he has notably worked for Le Figaro, France Soir and Paris Match. On television, he made his mark with “Le Petit Théâtre de Bouvard” on Antenne 2 from 1982 to 1987, a talent incubator which revealed numerous comedians.

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