Over at the BBC, they do things differently. The weather forecast, that is. It’s a big operation, the weather: 24 broadcasters– Daniel Corbett, Helen Willetts et al, and between them, they cover all the bulletins broadcast on BBC radio and television – even World service. On the radio, it’s the word picture you might expect, while on TV, the graphics are ever more sophisticated
Here in France, it’s different. Switch on France Inter for the weather forecast, and what you’ll get is the slightly southern, slightly nasal, but warm and measured tones of Joël Collado. Forecast after forecast. Day after day. Year after year He is allowed days off: he’s even allowed holidays sometimes, and when those occur, we’ll have Jacques Kessler or sometimes Jean-Michel Golynski. Just those three.
It’s quite comforting really. The French obviously think so. Watch a French film or television drama, and Collado’s reassuring, slightly soothing voice may well be murmuring in the background of those early establishing shots. The good old British forecast wouldn’t send out such a message of timeless normality, I don’t think. A young French social care assistant wrote what almost amounted to a declaration of love to Joël Collado on her blog Pause Café, (‘You’re my ray of sunshine, even when you’re forecasting rain and cold’). Facebook apparently has The Joël Collado and Jacques Kessler Appreciation Society – which I’ve not been able to read, as I think I am the next-to-last person in this web-aware world not to have a Facebook account. The last is Malcolm
Those three radio forecasters though, don’t present on TV. There are other teams for that job, depending on the station. We’re always amused that female presenters, who in this house go under the generic name Pixie-frou-frou, seem to have been hired specifically for the shortness of their skirts and the archness of their radiant smiles.
Then there are the papers, and the internet. Our local paper, La Dépêche du Midi, is famously wrong much of the time, and I gave up on the internet when the site I was reading assured me that at that very moment, it was snowing in Laroque d’Olmes. It wasn’t. It was sunny. I saw not one snowflake all that day. As in England, so in France, those who forecast the weather are only talked about when they are wrong