Sarkozy’s ‘favourite’ French newsreader shown the door after slump and gaffes
THE glamorous presenter of France's leading prime time news bulletin has been forced out after a slump in ratings and a series of gaffes.
Laurence Ferrari, 45, had been a surprise choice to take over the most prominent news-reading role in the country four years ago. At the time, it was rumoured that she had had a brief flirtation with Nicolas Sarkozy, the then president.
Now, just three weeks after he was voted out of office, she has also left her job.
Once regarded as a bright, exciting and very feminine face of television, the ratings for the broadcast on TF1 began declining soon after her debut. Her habit of smiling after delivering news of a tragic event grated with viewers and critics. Furthermore, her interview technique did not please bosses.
Her fate was perhaps sealed when new president Francois Hollande gave his first television interview on Tuesday to France 2, a rival channel.
Ms Ferrari said she had decided to leave to join a minor cable channel. "I wanted a freer, less formatted kind of broadcast," she said.
Mr Hollande meanwhile replaced France's top three security officials after he criticised senior police for being too close to his predecessor.
The government said in a statement that Bernard Squarcini, the head of the DCRI intelligence service, Frederic Pechenard, director general of the French national police, and Paris police prefect Michel Gaudin had been replaced.