INTERVIEW – Of the more than 50,000 voters who participated in our web survey, 52% quoted the 46-year-old courier driver among their favorite columnists on the C8 talk show. A result which the interested party received with enthusiasm and humility.
For several days, you were able to pick your three favorite columnists from “Touche pas à mon poste!” among 17 speakers who marked the season by their presence or their development in the show. More than 50,000 internet users participated in our web survey and it is Raymond Aabou which was the most popular with 52% of voters. Among the newcomers of the season is the French-American actress Beatrice Rosen climbed into the standard table 2021/2022 by achieving a sixth place (16% of voters).
ALSO READ – Who is Béatrice Rosen, the revelation of the season of “Touche pas à mon poste!”?
Results of the survey “Who are your favorite columnists this season in” Touche pas à mon poste! “? (3 choices)”:
1 – Raymond Aabou: 52% of voters
2 – Guillaume Genton: 36%
3 – Matthew Delormeau: 33%
4 – Delphine Wespiser: 31%
5 – Geraldine Maillet: 27%
6 – Beatrice Rosen: 16%
7 – Valerie Benaim: 15%
8 – Bertrand Deckers: 14%
9 – Bernard Montiel and Kelly Vedovelli: 13%
11 – Gilles Verdez: 12%
12 – Benjamin Castaldi: 9%
13 – Isabelle Morini-Bosc: 8%
14 – Danielle Moreau: 7%
15 – Hugo Manos: 6%
16 – Nicolas Pernikoff and Sacha Elbaz: 4%
ALSO READ – Géraldine Maillet, the lesson on elegance from “Touche pas à mon poste!”
THE FIGURE. – You’ve been voted columnist for the season of “Touche pas à mon poste!” according to our web survey …
Raymond ABOOU. – It’s crazy stuff, people are amazing, I love it! It’s a nice compliment to someone like me who was initially a simple viewer of the show. When I became a columnist, I did not think I would stay more than two weeks, and here I am today, the viewers’ favorite columnist. It’s me who prepares the shows at least in advance, I react instinctively, on the spot. Many others like Géraldine, Benjamin, Gilles, Guillaume, Valérie or Matthieu have made great shows this season.
What does it take to make “a good show” as a columnist for “TPMP”?
From my point of view, it is to have a clear opinion on each topic and be in the mood of the show. If you are present in the debates and you give your point of view without cheating, you are doing a good show. This does not stop me from making mistakes sometimes, I have been in doubt and talked about it with Cyril. As long as I express my truth with my words, he supports me because he wants sincerity.
How do you live after the show when your words have been misunderstood, as recently with the debate over PSG player Idrissa Gueye?
I experienced it very badly. I was stupid enough to talk about these people saying that “PDs are not normal” and the viewers thought it was me who believed it. I have been criticized, attacked and called homophobic. What made me most sad was receiving messages from gay people who were hurt by my comments and who cried over it. I realized that I had not been able to make myself understood that I had been clumsy. I would respond to Hugo Manos, who told me I was systemically homophobic, by telling him that was not the case, and he knows it. We are in the debate, I felt attacked and I responded with courage. But I screwed up and I learn from my mistakes.
Do not you tend to forget that there are cameras around you and a program context seen by hundreds of thousands of people?
Completely, when I’m passionate about a debate, I almost forget I’m being filmed. I react when someone attacks me, I respond to Cyril when I do not agree with him, so I forget that he is the host and producer of the program. That he’s my boss and that he’s kept “TPMP” at arm’s length for twelve years. When I criticize the editorial line of the program, when I disagree that certain people have been invited, and when I leave the set, I make the mistake of making it a personal matter when it does not concern me. That day, I had to respect the editorial choices and all the people who worked on the show. But the day I lose this spontaneity, I stop using “TPMP”.
How do you reconcile “Do Not Touch My Post!”, Your job as a courier driver, and your family life?
It is very difficult to see your loved ones when you leave home at. 04.45 and will return at 22.00 Monday to Friday. At the weekend you are so tired that the first thing you want to do is sleep. Especially before the health crisis, uniting everything was complicated. This year, I do four shows a week, Monday through Thursday. I look forward to the holidays to make the most of them before resuming my deliveries in August.
How do your loved ones perceive your media career?
My daughter is 21 and my son is 17, they have gotten used to it over the years and they are taking it well. I protect them as much as possible from all this. I try not to make too many hidden incidents to prevent my youngest from being thrown out of school the next day. My family knows I have not changed, I have always been very sociable and I continue to take the time to talk to people on the street.
How did you meet Cyril Hanouna?
I have always loved Cyril, I have followed him since “La Grosse Émission” on the Comédie channel! and I was going to see him on stage when he did his one-man show in front of 20 people. We had a mutual friend, producer Laurent Thibault, who worked with him when he left RTL to take over the morning show on Virgin Radio. We had started working together, I made challenges on the street for “Hanouna in the morning”. He had put me on trial for a week to prove myself, and I had stayed almost the entire season, between September 2011 and April 2012.
Your first TV appearance came in December 2015 on C8 in “Touche pas à mon sport!” …
After the radio, Cyril had promised me that we would work together again. Every year he thought of sending me messages to wish me a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We were not seen at all, but we kept in touch that way. And he called me one day around 4pm, I was going home after my work in Gennevilliers, I was on the A15 towards Cergy-Pontoise. He had asked me to turn around to attend the show. It was absolutely wild, I had never made TV, I did not know how to do it, and I found myself on the set with Estelle Denis disguised with a tracksuit and a bubble hat on her head. Cyril had decided that I wanted to be “Raymond the supporter” among professionals like Daniel Riolo, Henri Leconte, Pierre Ménès, Dominique Grimault, Raymond Domenech … It was the moon! (laughs.)
After the end of the show, Cyril Hanouna integrates you into the band “Touche pas à mon poste!” …
I had come once or twice in the beginning, but it did not work, for I did not dare, I was a spectator. I was happy to be there, I looked at the others: there were Thierry Moreau, Énora Malagré, Camille Combal, Jean-Luc Lemoine … I was useless. Cyril was the only one who was convinced that I, a simple courier driver, had my place in the show, that I had to impose myself by daring to make my opinion known, and he called back from time to time. I really came back to “TPMP” a year and a half later after a break.
What was the trigger for this return?
I came back determined to say what I really think deep down without being affected by anything. Cyril wanted me to look natural and have fun. Slowly I let go and learned to be less intimidated. I stopped preparing my topics in advance because the show conductor often jumped out at the last minute, I wasted my time. I measure the chance that I will have two jobs and be in “Touche pas à mon poste!”. I continue the deliveries because I have the impression of keeping my feet on the ground and being closer to people. Every day at 8 in the morning I have already shaken hands and talked to dozens of people. I deliver to bistros and restaurants, I interact with people from all walks of life and from our social level. I do not need the internet to get information or Twitter to chat.
Who still calls you by your real first name, Cyril?
It makes me a world of good when people call me Cyril, it most often comes from people who are close to me and who really know me. In one day, people will call me 100 times Raymond, and it tells me I’m dealing with people who know me through TV. (laughs.) Behind the scenes of “Touche pas à mon poste!”, except for three or four people, everyone calls me Raymond. It’s my middle name that Cyril got me to adopt when we started working together on the radio. There could not be two Cyrils on the same show.
You were born on February 25, 1976 in Colombes …
That’s right, I turned 28 in the building where I grew up in the Cité des Fossés Jean. I have three sisters and my parents are retired now. My father was a courier driver, and my mother stayed home for a long time before taking the competition exam at the age of 39 to become a member of the Department of Agriculture. She was secretary there for 17 years. When my daughter turned 3 and my wife was pregnant with our boy, I did not want my children to go through what I was going through. It’s a neighborhood that was complicated, there was crime and drugs. I took out a loan and bought a house in Oise near Chambly.
Your dream was to become a professional football player …
As a kid, I used to be a buddy driver just like my dad, while dreaming about football. When I was playing at the bottom of the building in my neighborhood, I was told that I had a good level and that I needed to go on tracking courses to enroll in a club. When I was 16 and a half, I accompanied a friend to an internship in Paris Saint-Germain after my day’s work. I was in the middle of 200 kids, everyone wanted to be attackers and I did not want to wait. I made the discovery at left back position and I was immediately taken.
What memories do you have of the PSG training center?
I spent seven extraordinary years, it took me out of my city, I rubbed shoulders with children from all over Île-de-France from all social backgrounds. I met footballers who had a career at the highest level, such as Didier Domi, Jérôme Leroy, Habib Beye, Fabrice Abriel or even Nicolas Anelka before his departure to Arsenal. We met George Weah, Antoine Kombouaré and David Ginola during training. Then I went to the amateur department of the club. My only regret is that I did not devote myself to football. Out of pride, I wanted to continue working on delivery to prove to my parents that I could earn an honest life and be happy with my money. Football taught me to face competition and competition, it was a school in life.
Was it hard to grieve over your career as a footballer at PSG?
No, because it was my choice to leave, I was 25 and I had been there for seven years. My daughter had just been born, I moved into my house, and I played for four years in the amateur club Chambly, which went up in the divisions to reach Ligue 2. I stopped playing football at the age of 36, and that was hard to have to decide me. But physically, I could not hold on as well as before.
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