It's the end of an era at TVA and LCN: Denis Lévesque will host his very last show on May 19, ending 16 years of daily presence on both antennas.
The host made the announcement on Tuesday evening, speaking of the “privilege” of having occupied this platform, which has 3,000 episodes on the clock.
This carefully considered decision is linked in particular to the COVID-19 pandemic, which imposed virtual interviews – and a number of technical problems – when it was no longer possible to welcome guests in the studio. All this has, we feel in the interview, weighed down the interest of the 63-year-old communicator, not to mention the redundancy of subjects associated with the virus.
"We prided ourselves on being the show with the broadest spectrum of interests," he told Agence QMI, recalling that Denis Lévesque was one of the first LCN shows when the vocation headlines every quarter of an hour has been abandoned.
“For the past two years I had analysts and specialists to talk about [the] COVID, there was nothing else. Now there is war in Ukraine”, he added, aware despite everything of the importance of these issues.
“We reinvented ourselves from one season to another. With the pandemic, reinventing myself was more difficult and I decided that it was no longer my show that I was going to reinvent, it was myself.
Even if he is tired and eager to take advantage of a “seasonal sabbatical” this fall in Europe with his partner, journalist Pascale Wilhelmy, Denis Lévesque says he is in great shape, he who has already had health problems. invasive osteoarthritis.
He says he has also thought about the lifestyle he wants for the next few years, knowing that the body can suddenly let go of us. He cites Guy Lafleur and Mike Bossy, who died in quick succession in recent weeks, as well as two friends who died a few days apart before Christmas. "It makes you think."
No retirement and background interviews
Unlike his friend and colleague Pierre Bruneau, who recently announced his retirement as TV news anchor, Denis Lévesque doesn't want to get away from work and wants to continue conducting human and diverse interviews on TV. But it will no longer be seven days a week, 365 days a year, thanks to the retakes.
“Deciding to leave is big, but announcing it is even bigger, I think. Pierre [Bruneau] came to see me in my office after announcing it and he looked like he had 1000 pounds lighter on his shoulders.
For the 25th anniversary of LCN – the channel has been on the air since September 8, 1997 – Denis Lévesque will conduct 25 in-depth interviews with people who have made the news in the last quarter century. We can think of the ice storm of winter 1998 or the attacks of September 11, 2001. He will record a few programs before leaving for Europe, then he will complete the exercise on his return.
Once on vacation, he could imitate his companion and write a book, otherwise the two accomplices have projects together, they who have, among other things, carried a touching documentary on Jean Lapierre.
“I open the door to the universe for new projects. We also have an idea for a docu-series,” he said.
He admits to having a pinch in the heart for all the faithful who are at the rendezvous of his show, evening after evening, as well as for the technicians and the directors. He also thinks of his desk manager Bruno Genest, with whom he has worked for 20 years. “It is sure that it is full, it is emotional to leave. I worked for 20 years with Bruno, my alter ego, we do it together.”
For the last, he knows he will be “emotional”. “We are going to do a special with guests well known to viewers and there will be archive footage.”
◆ Don't miss Denis Lévesque's latest show, Thursday, May 19 at 8 p.m., on LCN.