FIGARO LIVE – Invited to “Buzz TV” to promote his memoirs, the former star host of the front page looks back on that day in July 2001, when Étienne Mougeotte, the CEO at the time, told him that he would not be returning to the ‘antenna. A shock for this television enthusiast.
“Tell my son that I love him“. This is the title of the book of memoirs of Philippe Risoli (published by the Archipelago). The star host of the 1990s, who celebrates his 70th birthday on Saturday, looks back on the disappearance of his parents, but also his childhood as the son of Italian immigrants and his debut on the radio, on Radio Andorra then Sud Radio. The title of this autobiography is taken from one of the last words of his father, who died of cancer of the pleura two years ago.
“It’s a terrible scene“, recalls the interested party on the set of “Buzz TV” this Friday. “He kept telling me that he wanted to leave. He was in a lot of pain. And one day, July 15, 2021, I visit him, he is in bed, half asleep, in palliative care. I approach, and he whispers in my ear: “Go away, I don’t want you to see me die”. I can tell you it’s hard“recalls Philippe Risoli, tears in his eyes. The nurse will call him the next day to inform him of his disappearance. “And before leaving, he said to her: “Tell my son that I love him”. He wasn’t the type to tell me “I love you” but I knew it“, continues the former presenter of the “Just Price”, the “Millionaire” and “Jéopardy”.
“It was complicated to bounce back, there were only six channels and I was very marked by the front page”
Philippe Risoli on his departure from TF1 in 2001
Philippe Risoli recounted another significant day in his life, twenty years earlier, on July 12, 2001, when Étienne Mougeotte, CEO of TF1 at the time, told him that he would not be returning to the air. “This will be the only confidence that I will tell you about it, he warns. The right price had to stop, with the arrival of the Euro in particular. I had projects on the front page, a variety show and another charity on Sunday afternoons. (…) And he (Etienne Mougeotte, Ed.) gives me a phone call that lasts a long time. We talk like friends, he called me “big” always. The interview ends with this sentence: “Great, right now, I don’t have a project to offer you”. As I did not expect it, it was a shock“says Philippe Risoli whose TV career came to an abrupt end. “It was complicated to bounce back, there were only six channels and I was very marked by the One so it was difficult to go immediately to the Two“, still completes the one who will find a place on Gulli a few years later to revive “L’École des fans” but also in the theater in a play written by Jean-Pierre Pernaut, Matignon trap.
And to specify that hewas not ejected“even if he was”hurt“. “ Television and radio have been pions since I was born. They say I want to come back but no“, adds the one who will recount in detail the phone call from his former boss in his next book. And he ures it: without attacking TF1. “I like TF1, it’s a good memory and it’s part of my life“.