Finances, castles… The secrets of humorist Yves Lecoq

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Like Gérard Depardieu or Gérard Vivès, the animator and humorist Yves Lecoq is a real enthusiast of castles and other old buildings. A passion that has pushed him many times to buy old houses in order to restore them. “My grandmother being an antique dealer, she was the one who passed on this passion to me,” he told Le Zéphyrmag in 2017 and added: “It all happened in Picardy. One day, I I had enough money to buy my first property and I took the plunge (…) For me, the goal was to work as a restorer. I didn’t necessarily want to systematically live in the properties I was acquisition. But I wanted to complete their restoration”.

At the end of the 1970s, he would have become the proud owner of the Château d’Hédauville before reselling it in order to buy the Château de Suzanne in 1981. In 1995, the animator bought the castle of Villiers-le-Bâcle, located in Essonne. This aficionado of large buildings then became the owner of the Château de Chambes in Charente in 2008 before acquiring the Château de Chalais in 2011. A castle “in danger” as the site asserted. For the French star, it was an extraordinary challenge. “It was probably unreasonable,” he said. He would also be the owner of the Château de Maisonseule.

According to our colleagues from Public, Yves Lecoq, who would be “ruined”, should have sold off his castle in Villiers-le-Bâcle. While the host “hoped to pocket 18 million euros”, the building would have been sold for the sum of 9 million euros to a certain Xaviel Niel, founder of the company Free.

In an interview with Charente Libre on November 21, 2022, the comedian confided that he must now sell his château de Châlais because he is no longer able to assume the charges. “I wanted to do a disinterested act. The proof, this purchase and the restoration have half ruined me, but I have no regrets,” he told the daily. Selling price of the building? 3.1 million euros!

In 2020, host Yves Lecoq spoke to Non Stop People about his finances as well as the difficulty of owning castles. “Right now it’s not terrible. But it’ll come back. When you’re shut down overnight like that, there are things that keep falling. I don’t have wealth taxes so much I am in debt by my castles”, he declared and added: “I have expenses for the maintenance of these castles, which continue to turn, and I no longer have the income. So it takes time to sell things to be able to repay all that. I’ve sold two already. But it’s not easy to sell especially at the moment because people don’t want to bother managing this kind of thing anymore, added- he. Me, it was my pleasure.”

In an interview with Charente Libre, the one who pocketed between 35,000 and 40,000 euros per month thanks to his shows on Canal (Les Guignols de l’info and Grands du rire), found himself in difficulty quickly: “When Canal and France 3 stop overnight and you end up with zero income, it becomes difficult. It is not because you have four castles that you are a billionaire”, he explained.

From 1988 to 2018, Yves Lecoq was one of the emblematic voices of the program Les Guignols de l’info thanks to his talents as an imitator. By doubling the puppets of Patrick Poivre d’Arvor or Jacques Chirac, he will become one of the stars of the program. From 2005 to 2019, the comedian was also at the head of the program Les Grands du rire on France 3 before the program was replaced by Samedi d’en rire, presented by Jean-Luc Lemoine.

In 2019, Yves Lecoq had created the surprise by participating in the musical program Mask Singer on TF1. Since then, the 76-year-old star has become increasingly rare. More recently in 2020, he was seen on the screen in an episode of the fictional Capitaine Marleau.