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Bernard Pivot (born 5 May 1935)


Bernard Pivot is a French interviewer and host of a cultural television broadcast.

He was born in Lyon. His parents were grocers. During World War II, his father, Charles Pivot, was taken prisoner and his mother moved to the family house in the village of Quincié-en-Beaujolais. As a child, Bernard Pivot started school in this village.

In 1945, Charles was released, and the reunited family returned to Lyon. At 10 years old, Bernard Pivot went to a Catholic boarding school and discovered a consuming passion for sport, a passion which helped teachers to overlook his general mediocrity in all traditional school topics except French language and history.

Initially a student in law in Lyon, Bernard Pivot entered the CFJ (Centre de formation des journalistes) in Paris, where he met his future wife, Monique. He finished his studies the second of his promotion.

After a training period in "Le progrès" in Lyon, he studied economical journalism for a full year, then entered the « Figaro littéraire » in 1958.

In 1970, he was animator of a daily humoristic radio broadcast; during which he often raised up political topics, something only be midly appreciated by Georges Pompidou.

In 1971, the « Figaro littéraire » was closed and Bernard Pivot becomes a manager at « Le Figaro ». He left the newspaper in 1974 due to a disagreement with Jean d'Ormesson. Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber invited him to start a new project, which led a year later to the creation of a magazine : « Lire ».

Meanwhile, he became animator in April 1973 of Ouvrez les Guillemets, on the first TV channel. In 1974, the ORTF was dissolved and Bernard Pivot started the famous Apostrophes programme. The first broadcast took place on Antenne 2, on January 10, 1975, and stopped in 1990. Bernard Pivot then created the famous Bouillon de culture programme whose scope he tried to broaden beyond books. But he eventually came back to books.

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