On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the pioneering reality TV program in France, Benjamin Castaldi offers a special evening Loft Story, this Thursday on C8. In an interview, the host reveals the last secrets of the Loft …
Tele-Leisure: Most Lofters will be on C8 tonight. Was it easy to convince them to come back to TV?
Benjamin Castaldi: Paradoxically, they were happy to find their TV daddy. Even if we knew that some did not want to wait to talk about it any longer, overall we have everyone on the set and we are very happy.
M6 does not plan anything for the 20 years of the Loft. An embarrassing birthday for the channel to celebrate?
I do not know. Especially since there was a before and an after for them, for me and for the Lofters … Frankly I don’t know.
Were you aware that on April 26, 2001, the Loft was going to revolutionize television?
Not at all and fortunately! Otherwise I think it would have paralyzed me.
Your aerial catch is ultra-solemn and without applause, a thousand leagues from the excited public of Secret Story. Why ?
This was M6’s instruction. No applause, no audience: they wanted something very solemn and very cold. Well, it lasted three days because as soon as there was the story of the pool (April 28, 2001, editor’s note) it was finished (laughs) Basically, M6 didn’t want to do something playful or funny but rather a societal magazine.
You were not the first choice of M6 it seems …
I was pretty much the 27th pick! (Laughs) They called all of Paris I think. For my part, I had not immediately hit that Loft Story was an adaptation of Big Brother – social networks did not yet exist – otherwise I might have thought about it! (Laughs) Me what interested me was especially the continuation, the contract after. I thought the Loft was going to be a detail.
Is it true that nothing was really ready within minutes of launch?
It’s a legend. After, the story ofArthur (then producer of the show, editor’s note) on the Lofters’ mattresses left on the ground in the garden because we would not have had time to put them in, it is possible. I trust him.
He would have besides himself vacuumed the house to help teams …
It is true that it was a bit of a panic!
At the time, everyone wiped the plaster and did not yet have the codes of reality TV. Were there any events in the Loft that would be impossible to see in 2021?
When you watch the show, nothing happened except the overflow – all in all very relative – of the swimming pool … The candidates who smoke and drink in the image, that on the other hand could not be more.
The broadcast was punctuated by violent demonstrations. You or M6 have you thought of stopping everything?
No. When you have 7 million viewers, you can support a few protesters. And then it only pitched for three or four weeks. After the Loft became trendy and hype.
Sure “the pool affair“, occurred between Loana and Jean-Edouard, legend says that a single copy of the entire footage – initially censored and cut in editing before mysteriously ending up on the internet – was kept secret by the production before being destroyed. Is it true ?
No it is wrong. I don’t know where they are, but the tapes still exist …
All the rumors have circulated about the Loft. What hasn’t been said yet?
Well you will learn a lot during the prime on C8. There will be a lot of behind-the-scenes secrets that will be revealed.
In a nutshell, how do you rate reality TV in 2021?
She’s different, I’m not one of those who howl with wolves. Its evolution is logical. The real difference is that reality TV has become a profession. And that the candidates have almost become actors.
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