Jean-Pierre Pernaut: the secrets of the famous TF1 presenter


On Wednesday March 2, 2022, Jean-Pierre Pernaut died at the age of 71 surrounded by his loved ones, as announced by the agent of his wife Nathalie Marquay to AFP. “Tom, Lou, Olivier and Julien’s father died of lung cancer”. After a long battle with illness, the historic presenter of the 13 Hours newspaper on TF1 breathed his last, leaving the whole of France in mourning.

In recent years, Jean-Pierre Pernaut has fought a fierce battle against the disease. When he was in remission from prostate cancer in 2018, the television man revealed that he had lung cancer in November 2021. “I learned about this disease last May. I underwent a first operation in early July. And a treatment that has been going on for a few weeks,” he confided in a video posted on his Twitter account.

Speaking on several occasions for the prevention of cancer, this testimony was also an opportunity for the husband of Nathalie Marquay to make his mea culpa. “I thought it could only happen to others. For years and years, I was told to quit smoking. I didn’t believe it, well I should have quit.” The septuagenarian had however been reassuring about his state of health at the slightest opportunity with his public in the media.

“Cancer is one of those diseases for which medicine has made enormous progress. We cross our fingers, we cling and we fight. That of the lung is not necessarily the simplest but I trust the doctors . We’ll see,” he admitted in the columns of Le Parisien. A fierce fight that he led to the end with pugnacity surrounded by his family and loved ones.

Still very bereaved, his wife Nathalie Marquay ranted on her Instagram account. While she regularly visits the grave of her late husband, located in a cemetery in Louveciennes in the Yvelines, she made a sad discovery on December 5, 2022. Indeed, the burial of the flagship presenter of TF1 was the victim of ‘flight.

“May lightning fall on this person, who dared to steal my beautiful heart from the grave of my love. What a shame it will not bring him happiness, believe me”, she wrote in the caption of a photo of his burial.

A news that saddened the journalist’s fans. “It’s a shame to steal this heart from Jean-Pierre’s grave”, “No respect!! What a shame” or even “Thefts are very frequent in cemeteries now.. it’s a shame!”, can -we read in comments.

Before his death, Jean-Pierre Pernaut fought against the disease and continued to do prevention on television (Stars à nu on TF1) and in the company of his wife, Miss France 1987. “With my wife Nathalie, who had cancer too, we’ve always said to ourselves that we have to stop talking about cancer as a long illness. It’s not a shameful disease. Talking about it when you have a little notoriety can help people a little lost with this scary word”, he admitted for Le Parisien.

Giving her unfailing support, from the start of their story one evening during the Miss France 2002 election, Nathalie Marquay-Pernaut married her journalist husband in 2007 and had their daughter Lou and their son Tom together. Already the father of two children Olivier and Julia, born of his previous union with his first wife Dominique Bonnet, his relatives were present at his side to defend him and also give his news.

As during a passage in TPMP, January 24, 2022, where the actress had made a sad revelation about the health of her husband while the whole family was vaccinated against Covid-19. “Jean-Pierre has had four mini strokes since he had the vaccine,” she assured, adding. “It’s still weird because we do all the possible exams on Jean-Pierre to find where these mini strokes come from and we can’t find”. Then, to specify in front of Cyril Hanouna and Professor Didier Raoult present on the set of the show. “I ask if there is a connection with the vaccine he had eight days before. And immediately [the doctors (Editor’s note)] tell me: ‘Especially not'”.

With the sad disappearance of Jean-Pierre Pernaut, it is a great figure of French television who dies after having rocked several generations of viewers in front of their post. From his beginnings in 1972, as a reporter for Nord Picardie Actualités, the Northerner, a graduate of the Graduate School of Journalism in Lille, had completed his first internship at the Courrier Picard before joining the regional editorial team to present the newspaper of the ‘ORTF.

At the beginning of January 1975, Jean-Pierre Pernaut arrived at TF1 to present the 20 Heures newspaper there until 1978. While he co-hosted the 13 Heures edition with Yves Mourousi from 1978 to 1980, the journalist was then a major reporter economy from 1980 to 1982. Alternately deputy head of the reporting department and editor-in-chief for several programs at that time, he reached the key position of titular presenter in 1988 on the first channel in Europe.

A leading figure in the news, Jean-Pierre Pernaut was also a lover of the regions that he took care to highlight in all his news. In the four corners of France and overseas territories, the famous journalist paid tribute to all French people and everyday heroes. At the same time, he carried out numerous regional operations and hosted his flagship program How Much Does It Cost (1991 to 2010). After 33 years of good and loyal service, the presenter gave way to Marie-Sophie Lacarrau and devoted himself to other projects such as the weekly Jean-Pierre et vous (on LCI), his digital channel JPP TV and his magazine Au heart of the regions.

On the strength of his popularity, multiplying the works and collecting distinctions during his long career, he is crowned “favorite TV personality of the French” in 2020 for TV Magazine. “The 1 p.m. newspaper is sometimes supported by common sense remarks, because a journalist is not a cold animal who simply repeats official information. He is also there to tell the story of people’s lives”, confided to our colleagues that who also stood out for his frankness and his rants. It was him, it was his personality and he will forever remain in the hearts of the French.