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Christophe Dechavanne arrives in “The storms of life” on RTL-TVi: “I sometimes went to hide to cry in my corner”

  • Post category:Entertainment
  • Reading time:9 mins read

InterviewHe is back. Next week, French animator Christophe Dechavanne will make his big comeback on the small screen in Belgium. After a professional slump and many questions about the future of his career, the famous presenter has agreed to take on a new major challenge: to bring life back – in his own way – to the cult show “Les orages de la vie” on RTL-TVi. The broadcast of the first episode, in which the host will meet a “child of the moon”, is scheduled for September 27 from 8:30 p.m. on the Belgian channel. “People may find out who Christophe really is. I am very natural in this show, without any posture or filter”, he assures.

A huge success for RTL-TVi between 2011 and 2018, the program “Les orages de la vie” has had a makeover and is back on the Belgian private channel from Tuesday 27 September. And to mark the occasion, RTL-TVi has decided to call on a big name on the French small screen to take over the animation of the program, formerly provided by Stéphane Pauwels. From now on, it is Christophe Dechavanne who visits personalities or people whom existence has not always spared. As in the past, the show invites us to review life journeys with their joys and sorrows. In the program? Emotion, laughter, moments of sharing, but above all, enriching stories.

Before being asked to host the famous program, Christophe Dechavanne had never heard of “The Storms of Life”. “I didn’t know about this show,” says the host. He also chose not to watch the old episodes, hosted by Stéphane Pauwels, so as not to “be influenced”. “I arrived on the set really blind, and I started my own animation of this wonderful show. This version will be a little different from the previous one, because the nature of men, in this case that of Stéphane and mine, are not the same. (…) I reclaimed the program. In this show, I am myself, I managed to create a certain connection with people.

Shocking encounters

In the first episode, broadcast this Tuesday, September 27 on RTL-TVi, the French host has a touching encounter with Ilyas, a young boy from Tubize who is one of the few “children of the moon” in our country. Because of this extremely rare genetic disease, Ilyas cannot be exposed to ultraviolet rays. The young boy can only leave his home if he is equipped with a diving suit that protects him from the sun’s rays. “I am a very sensitive person, I am very touched by all these stories. When I was told that I was going to meet a child of the moon, I was really scared. But I approached this meeting with empathy and without prejudice. I also went there out of curiosity,” says Dechavanne. “Finally, I realized that I felt very good with all these people. If I can bring a little bit of relaxation into their lives, especially by talking to them, then I’m delighted.”

Christophe Dechavanne. © Copyright RTL Belgium/Olivier Pirard

The former host of “The Wheel of Fortune” explains that he was upset and turned upside down by all these meetings, even after the end of filming. “You find yourself in front of people who give you a lesson in courage, a lesson in life and a lesson in hope, regardless of the socio-professional environment in which they grew up. You can’t stop thinking about it once the shooting is over. I happened to go hide and cry in my corner. When you see the dramas they are going through, you say to yourself: ‘But what am I complaining about?’”

Mallory Gabsi and the drama of Strépy-Bracquegnies

In “Les orages de la vie”, Christophe Dechavanne also went to meet the famous Belgian chef of Mallory Gabsi, whose story won the hearts of Belgian and French viewers after his appearance on the program “Top Chef”. The young man will return to the drama at the origin of the loss of the use of his eye, a terrible ordeal which forged the character of this unique cook. “I got along very well with him. He’s a great guy,” says Dechavanne, before adding: “What excites me about all this? Sharing moments with new people and allowing them to confide, sometimes for the first time. By their side, I hope to be a friend, a big brother, a friend.”

Christophe Dechavanne and Mallory Gabsi
Christophe Dechavanne and Mallory Gabsi © RTL Belgium – Olivier Pirard

In another register, with great delicacy and benevolence, the French host also went to Strépy-Bracquegnies, a place where six people lost their lives and thirty were injured. “Even if I had heard about this accident, it’s not the same to end up at the exact place where 6 people lost their lives. I was on the side of this road, facing young people who have lost their mothers, facing a man who will never marry the woman he loves… It’s hard and at the same time, these people are an extraordinary strength. Even if it will take time, their psychological reconstruction has already begun, because man is like that.”

A new start?

With this return to the controls of the show “Les orages de la vie” and his “permanent guest role” in Léa Salamé’s new talk show “Quelle époque”, broadcast on France 2 from this Saturday September 24, Christophe Has Dechavanne decided to draw a final line on game show animation? “I am in a good position to say that you should never say ‘never’ and that nothing is ever really over. That said, a priori, there is no reason for me to return to animating games. (…) Unless I am offered a crazy game, a show that makes the brain work a little and is very funny, then yes, why not.

By way of conclusion, the famous French animator reveals a little more about his involvement in the cult program “Les orages de la vie”, which will therefore return to the air this Tuesday, September 27 after four years of absence. “People may find out who Christophe really is. I am very natural in this show, without any posture or filter. I think we’ll see who I am: a good guy who cares about others, who doesn’t pretend, who can be a friend. I even gave my mobile number to anonymous people who were lost in their lives, and for good reason. I told them: ‘Listen, if I can help you, don’t hesitate’.”

“The storms of life” – From Tuesday September 27 at 8:30 p.m. on RTL-TVi

Christophe Dechavanne and Mallory Gabsi
Christophe Dechavanne and Mallory Gabsi © RTL Belgium – Olivier Pirard


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