For the faithful of the 13 Hours, he is the historical joker of Jean-Pierre Pernaut. After the disappearance of the famous presenter on March 2 at the age of 71, Jacques Legros paid tribute to his colleague on TF1. “Since yesterday, a shadow hangs over this 1 p.m. newspaper, that of Jean-Pierre Pernaut, whom he created and embodied for more than 30 years, who left us yesterday at only 71 years old. We think of him and his family“, he had started his news on Thursday March 3.
Since 1998, the journalist Jacques Legros ensured the presentation of the 13 Hours on TF1 during school holidays and summer holidays, in place of the husband of Nathalie Marquay-Pernaut. Two colleagues who worked together and rubbed shoulders in the editorial office. “For 25 years, we followed each other, we made the same newspaper in terms of editorial line. We did not meet more than we saw each other”, evoked the septuagenarian on LCI, reacting to the disappearance of his colleague.
Before evoking their common memories. “We saw each other when he was doing the newspaper and we discussed the future, journalism and its evolution, social networks… We wondered if we weren’t old c*ns, but we were two journalists who have experience”. During the confinement in the spring of 2020, Jacques Legros had taken over while Jean-Pierre Pernaut, weakened by the disease, was confined to his home to animate his daily column in the 1 p.m. newspaper. “When we present a newspaper, we are the boss. So I am the boss of the newspaper at the moment. Things are well distributed between us and things are going well like that,” he told the Puremedias site.
In early January 2021, Jacques Legros became Marie-Sophie Lacarrau’s joker on TF1. While the latter is faced with “ophthalmic concerns” forcing her to be absent from the JT, the journalist from Pas-de-Calais gave her news. “We laughed” he said in Le Parisien. “But with the light we get on set, Marie-Sophie can’t come back if she’s not completely cured. It could take six months”.
While waiting for the return of the holder of the 13 Hours, Jacques Legros continues to animate the high mass at noon after having finally been hired on a permanent contract in December 2021. “We’ve been talking about it for a while,” assured the journalist from 71 years to our colleagues, paid “with a joker salary”. “It gives me a more square status before considering an exit, even if I am assured that there is no urgency for me to leave”. No question of talking about retirement before the next ten years for the famous presenter…
In the shadow of Jean-Pierre Pernaut for several years, Jacques Legros seemed to be in his place in his role as joker. However, he almost got his own JT. “Another channel has already offered to present a full-time newscast to me, but I refused. I would have felt alienated. I want to be able to do other things on the side. And then, at TF1, I’m like the house”, he had confessed to Télé Loisirs, years earlier.
A replacement status which also raised questions about his salary. At first, Jacques Legros had broached the subject in December 2019 in L’Instant De Luxe on Non Stop People. “I am a case, so I am not a permanent employee of TF1. […] I do not have a contract”, before specifying. “I am paid at the newspaper. A newspaper is not far from 2,000 euros. But no newspaper, no salary”.
However, the journalist-presenter returned to his remarks in May 2020 in Télé Star. “I got trapped. But hey, let’s stop there”, and to continue facing our colleagues. “I remember all the same that when you’re a freelancer like me, there are also long periods without pay and no job security. And then, you have to smooth everything over the year”.
A coaster that surprised Jordan De Luxe, the host who had interviewed Jacques Legros, according to his remarks on the site of Jean-Marc Morandini. “During the show, when we talked about his salary, leaving the set, the host of TF1, was rather happy to have been able to clarify things, because ‘people imagine incredible sums'” . If Jacques Legros remains discreet on the subject, he is not stingy with astonishing anecdotes about his career…
Before doing most of his career at TF1, Jacques Legros had a chaotic school career. “I was pretty good at the start, and then it got stuck… To the point that I repeated my second three times! But I ended up getting my baccalaureate, with honors”, confessed this son of school director in Télé Loisirs in 2017.
However, passionate about writing and journalism, Jacques Legros wrote a few articles for La Voix du Nord. “I continued when I was a student, to earn pocket money. But I first started in a career as an engineer in Civil Defense, before returning to journalism at 30,” confided -he with La Dépêche.fr. Jack of all trades in various fields, he shines where you least expect him: in the Detective newspaper, he wrote erotic short stories. Like “the story of a billionaire who changed mistress every day…”, he evoked with humor.
Interviewed in the Radio Totem podcast, Jacques Legros spoke of his memories of his arrival in Paris and his beginnings in journalism. “I did an inglorious job when I was a student. But today, I don’t care because there is a prescription”, he said in April 2020. “The erotic news is whatever paid the best. I had no qualms […] It paid well, that’s why I did it”.
On the occasion of the publication of his book Behind the screen – 40 years in the heart of the media, published by Editions du Rocher, the journalist Jacques Legros made some revelations about his intimate life. The ex-joker of Jean-Pierre Pernaut is the father of two children named Tatiana and Gabriel. The latter, who flew across the Atlantic, was diagnosed with HPI, or High Intellectual Potential, as the journalist had declared to our colleagues from Closer.
“Gabriel is a musician and singer (…) He is preparing for his entrance exams, notably for the Juilliard School, in New York, in the Musical Composition section. He dreams of making film music. He has high intellectual potential. With all the fragilities that this implies, be careful (…) Many problems that parents have to manage”, he added.