Episode 12

September 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Where Aidan and Julie commiserate about la rentrée, discuss running around Paris, get slightly diverted by ladies of the night and finally find a good French film!

Post your comments, click the links, go running in full face make-up!

Running in Paris
Aidan prefers running by himself, though he occasionally encounters the, ahem, ‘nightshift’ as they show up for work in the Bois de Boulogne. But if you’d like more wholesome (and English-speaking) running company in the French capital, why not join the Paris Running Meetup Group?

‘Tout Ce Qui Brille’
At last, a French film that Julie likes! (Though she was flying first-class and sipping champagne at the time, so she would probably have liked ‘Pearl Harbour’ if it was on.) Two girls from the working-class Paris suburb of Puteaux hit the town, have a laugh… and end up pretending that they live in the posh suburb of Neuilly. Girly laughs and drama ensue! Watch the trailer.

Episode 11

June 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Where Julie and Aidan discuss the beaches of Paris, the firemen of France and the French X Factor winner from London, England!

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X Factor France – the final
He did it! With a victory that makes a lottery win seem totally expected, English student Matthew Raymond Barker won the French version of the TV talent show. Read our report, currently causing a sensation on the search engines. Aidan is still wondering what happened, especially as Matthew’s opponent, Marina, looked and sounded more assured on the night. The way seems clear for an Irish duo next year, singing a certain podcast theme song…

Paris Plage
A beach in the heart of Paris? Yes, it’s true! Every summer, the city centre north bank of the Seine is closed to traffic and covered with sand, palm trees and sun loungers hogged by Germans. Julie likes it (in theory); Aidan hates it (in practice) – find out more from the website of the Paris mayor’s office.

Bastille Day and the fireman’s ball
French people don’t call it Bastille Day, you know. And at  least 50% of them (plus Julie) are more excited by the night before – the bal des pompiers in the local fire brigade station. Find the nearest fireman’s ball to you in Paris. (Warning: web page contains photos of firemen taking off their clothes.)

Matthew from England wins X Factor France!

June 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Englishman Matthew Raymond-Barker has won France’s version of The X Factor. The 22-year-old student from Mitcham in west London, who was eliminated at the bootcamp stage of the English edition of the contest in 2010, defeated 17-year-old Marina D’Amico to scoop the prize of a record contract with Sony France.

Studying in Toulouse as part of his course in French and Spanish at the University of Bath, Matthew won through from the show’s open audition in Montpelier. During the live shows on TV channel M6 he performed hits by Robbie Williams, Beyoncé, U2, Madonna and French artists such as Daniel Balavoine. In tonight’s final he overcame two false notes to deliver a triumphant version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Man In The Mirror’ as his last song of the contest. 

During earlier rounds of the series he was criticised by the judges for subdued performances and choosing only English-language songs. Later rounds of the show obliged finalists to choose one song in English and one in French. As the series continued, Matthew won praise from the judges for the progress he had made in his singing and all-round performance.

The four judges included Henry Padovani, a Corsican-born musician who was a founder member of The Police, fired from the band before they became famous.

Tonight’s final featured guest appearances by Beyoncé and Bruno Mars. Guests on previous editions of the show included Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas.

Listen back to previous editions of French Toast to hear us describe Matthew’s progress – and don’t miss our X Factor report in our next podcast!

For more on the French version of The X Factor, visit http://x-factor.m6.fr/. Here’s Matthew’s moment of victory:

Episode 10!

June 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

Where Julie and Aidan must battle with bad musicians on the streets and scowling, thieving Parisians on the metro! Plus, another epic night of X Factor France!

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Fête de la Musique
21 June is France’s national day of music, with free concerts on every street corner. But for Aidan and Julie each year, 22 June can’t come quickly enough. Find out more from the Fête de la Musique official website (English version).

Metro people
Impatient office workers, iPhone thieves, irritating buskers, beggars with speeches – just some of the supporting cast you’ll find on the Paris metro. To help us forget those unsavoury characters, here’s the spectacular Metro chase scene from 1970s French cop thriller ‘Peur Dans La Ville’, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo.

X Factor France
Down to the semi-final, where our English boy Matthew faced off against hot favourite Maryvette. But the show was stolen by quiet back-marker Marina and her version of Bjork’s ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’. So could Matthew see off France’s darling and stake a place in the final? Find out at the X Factor France website: http://x-factor.m6.fr/ The final is on M6 next Tuesday (28 June) around 20:45 Paris time.

Episode 9

June 9, 2011 § 2 Comments

Where Julie and Aidan defy the French authorities by using an illegal F-word, support English lad Matthew in the latest nail-biting, high-flying X Factor show… and hang out in the dirty toilets of Paris!

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F*c*b**k and Tw*tt*r
It’s true – French media have just been banned from naming the two most popular social media sites, for fear of free advertising for them at the expense of their rivals. The eejits. Read all about the French ban here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jun/06/france-bans-twitter-facebook-news-announcements

X Factor France
It was literally nail-biting stuff for Matthew, who chewed his cuticles to the stump on live TV while waiting to see if he’d lose the elimination sing-off. But he got through, at the expense of Florian and his comedy accent. Meanwhile, hot favourite Maryvette sang while swinging on a trapeze. See all the performances at http://x-factor.m6.fr/

Toilets in Paris
Julie is not impressed by the filth and occasional squatting she finds in the public and restaurant toilets of Paris. If you’re coming to Paris and you’ve got to go, here’s a tourist guidebook’s advice on how to survive the Seine-side WC experience. (“The public toilets in France are often broken down and sometimes a little scary”)

Episode 8

May 30, 2011 § 2 Comments

Where Julie and Aidan discuss the rise of French politician Christine Lagarde, the renaissance of English finalist Matthew on X Factor France… and the randiness down in ‘Plus Belle La Vie’!

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Christine Lagarde
Julie is a big fan of the impressive French finance minister set to succeed as IMF chief from the troubled DSK. Madame Lagarde has already conquered the States in her legal career… and as a guest on US television. Watch her entertaining 2009 interview by Jon Stewart on the brilliant political satire ‘The Daily Show’.

‘X Factor’ France
Matthew: back in the game! Public savaging last week, compulsory French song this week – but the Englishman pulled himself together and wowed the judges with his Robbie Williams-esque moves and cheeky confidence. Finally singing in French, he covered this cracking 2005 French chart hit, ‘Ma Philosophie’ by Amel Bent. Watch Matthew’s performance and the other candidates at http://x-factor.m6.fr/

‘Plus Belle La Vie’
Julie told us about Eve, seducing all the men down Mistral way when not getting locked into closets, and Nathan who’s turning the local tourist accommodation into a love hotel for midday quickies. He may soon get featured on this respectable-looking website guide to, ahem, ‘day-use hotels’ in France. Keep up with all the latest PBLV action at http://plus-belle-la-vie.france3.fr/

Episode Seven

May 23, 2011 § 2 Comments

Where Julie and Aidan talk about filth in Paris, making babies and English suffering on the French X Factor!

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Dirty Paris
Spitting, market rubbish, thrown-out furniture, homeless people – you’ll see none of this in your picture-postcard Paris film. But this is a city where even the sewers are a tourist attraction. Leave us your stories of Paris filth in the comments below!

‘Une Folle Envie’
Middle-class Paris couple wants to have a baby but can’t get the seed planted. Clichéd, far-fetched, unlikeable French comedy – here’s the trailer. Julie recommends you watch a far funnier English film called ‘Maybe Baby’ instead.

X Factor France
What a week! English finalist Matthew got his comeuppance for never singing in French (and for a bad version of U2’s ‘One’), boyband 2nde Nature survived a near-bust-up, hot favourite Maryvette bent the rules by duetting with a pre-recorded film of herself. Catch up on the latest performances and news from a tough week for our finalists: http://x-factor.m6.fr/

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