Vincent Bolloré, the majority owner of Canal Plus via his Vivendi business, has finally ruled that Les Guignols de l’Info, a satirical puppet segment broadcast each evening on Canal Plus, will end this summer.
Bolloré has long wanted to end the eight-minute show, which is available during the free-to-view portion of Canal Plus’s early evening news. Les Guignols de l’Info was inspired by the UK’s Spitting Image transmitted from 1984 to 1996.
Les Guignols de l’Info was first broadcast in 1988 and rapidly became a ‘must see’ segment. It has consistently enjoyed a considerable impact on French culture and politics especially during the 1990-1991 Gulf War, when on-screen latex puppets imitated global leaders, and helped by a flak-jacket wearing Sylvester Stallone reporting from the front line.
“Commandant” Stallone’s segments were massively popular and have morphed into Cardinal Sylvestre, Iman Sylvestre, Rabbi Sylvestre and more recently as a banking analyst. In each version he explains the situation in ultra-simplistic – but extremely funny – terms.
French politicians were regular topics of ridicule, as were celebrities and rock stars. The show will not return after the current series ends this summer.