SpOT­lighT Blast from the past

The Weekend Australian - Magazine - - FRONT -

Tele­vi­sion view­ers may remember It’s a Knock­out, a slap­stick show of slip­pery slopes and cus­tard pies. The French equiv­a­lent, In­ter­villes, in­volved skul­dug­gery and ri­valry be­tween com­pet­ing towns. “We cheated end­lessly,” says former pre­sen­ter Olivier ­Chi­a­bodo, 54, who has bro­ken 20 years of si­lence on the sub­ject. In one episode in 1997, Chi­a­bodo was pho­tographed help­ing the team from Puy du Fou, a his­tor­i­cal theme park in west­ern France, com­pet­ing against Pays d’Ance­nis. He was sacked by the broad­caster, TF1, which also filed a crim­i­nal law­suit against him. An out-of-court set­tle­ment, in­clud­ing a con­fi­den­tial­ity clause, fol­lowed. Now Chi­a­bodo claims he had, in fact, merely been obey­ing or­ders from the pro­ducer be­cause TF1 wanted to curry favour with re­gional politi­cians back­ing the theme park. The team cap­tain that day was Bruno ­Re­tail­leau, now a prom­i­nent mem­ber of the French Se­nate. He has not com­mented on the al­le­ga­tions.

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