This Friday, September 2, 2022, TF1 viewers will be able to relive the last 30 years of the small screen through the program “The 50 favorite shows of the French”. The opportunity to return in particular to the career of Vincent Lagaf ‘, emblematic host of “Bigdil”. A man who changed his name, and not just to take on a stage name.
Vincent Lagaf’ is one of the emblematic faces of the small screen. Revealed in 1992 by the program “Yapaca” on France 3, he very quickly joined TF1 to present cult programs such as “L’Or à l’appel” then the “Bigdil“, before taking control of “Crésus”, “Fair prix” or even “Boom: winning is hanging by a thread”. Since leaving the first channel in 2016, he has officiated on C8, and join the cast of characters from “Fort Boyard” until 2021. In short, he has been in the media landscape for 30 years now.
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A nickname that comes to him from his youth
The real name of Vincent Lagaf’ is actually Vincent Rouil. His stage name comes straight from his youth, before he made himself known on the small screen. In fact, in the 1980s, before becoming an animator, he first passed a BEP as a mechanic-dieselist and a CAP as a welder before becoming a GO (“nice organizer”) at Club Med.
There, his legendary clumsiness and his ability to make blunders earned him the nickname “La Gaffe”, in reference to Gaston Lagaffe, the comic book character created by Franquin. For legal reasons, Vincent Rouil shortens the nickname and adds an apostrophe. He then officially becomes Vincent Lagaf’ in the eyes of the public. This clumsy side, he also exploited it for his character of “megaf” in “Fort Boyard”, as he had explained to All TV : “When I do Lagaf’, I play a character and there’s nothing pretentious about it. Mégagaf, I wanted to make him a haughty character, a little corny and sure of himself when he’s clumsy. L he idea was to have an antihero. I have a lot of fun playing Mégagaf.”
Vincent is not his birth name
The explanation around the pseudo “Lagaf'” is clear, but what many people do not know is that Vincent is not the birth name of the famous animator either. The latter had confided that he was born Franck, but that his biological mother had abandoned him at birth. He had mentioned this story in 2005 on the set of the program “Attention à la marche”, while Jean-Luc Reichmann had broadcast photos of his childhood: “These images are the first that were taken of me after my release from public assistance. I was lucky enough to be adopted by great people. I received a lot of love from them”, confided the one who was entrusted to public assistance during the 18 first months of his life. “Alas, my great regret is that my mother, who died in 1988, did not have time to see me arrive at the top of the bill.”
A few years later, on the set of “Hello Earthlings”, he revealed that he had found traces of his biological mother: “I needed to know a little about the blood that ran through my veins. I wanted to know my story, to know why I landed in public assistance. I searched a little, I found easily.” Vincent Lagaf’ was therefore able to exchange with the latter: “I had a contact that was not 100% pleasant at first, and then when I explained on the phone to the person who I was… There, there had a blank and she was like ‘yes, oh my!’.” During their only meeting, they had the opportunity to discuss at length: “She spent six hours telling me what had happened. I would not have wanted to be in her place, so somewhere, I told him thank you for having the courage to leave me in the assistance. Adopted by a loving family, little Franck from public assistance became Vincent Rouil, then today, Vincent Lagaf’. A name with many meanings.
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