television at the rendezvous of the last moments of a queen born on the small screen


How many will there be, Monday, September 19, to bid farewell to Elizabeth II viewers? Whether they zap on TF1, France 2 or the news channels, the French will have almost no other choice than to attend his funeral, and this, from 6 a.m. – and even 5 a.m. for CNews.

Some antennas will not resume their normal course until around 3 p.m. or 4 p.m., while others, such as the France Info channel, will extend their special edition until 6 p.m. After 8 p.m., it will be the end of a sequence in many respects historic for the television media, inseparable from the reign of the Queen of England. In 1952, his coronation had been watched by 277 million viewers worldwide, a figure then unheard of. According to estimates, there could be 4.1 billion to follow the state funeral broadcast live around the world.

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As soon as the state of health of the monarch became worrying, on September 8, BFM-TV worked to relocate, across the Channel, part of its editorial staff and most of its sets. In all, a dozen teams of reporters and seventy people will have made the trip to the kingdom, not counting the outside contributors.

"Strengthen the BFM-TV reflex"

“This event reassociates our channel with the historic event”, underlines Marc-Olivier Fogiel, the general manager of the news channel of the Altice group. After the Covid-19 or the war in Ukraine, the disappearance of the queen was an opportunity to "strengthen the BFM-TV reflex" among viewers when the news rushes.

“Beyond the effect blast [« souffle »] the first twenty-four to forty-eight hours, we very quickly decided to talk about something elseexplains for his part Michel Dumoret, the director of the national editorial staff of France Télévisions. The war in Ukraine continues, the energy crisis threatens…: we have an obligation to say that the rest of the world continues to function (poorly). »

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Of the eight three-person teams reporting from England on Monday, some have therefore been sent to locations "Hit hard by the crisis, like Liverpool", in order to make heard a tone other than that which will reign in Westminster or in Windsor. "The death of the Queen of England is clearly a global event, but we cannot hide the fact that some of the English remain very distant from it"insists the journalist.

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