Love, family, notoriety… The secrets of Paul (Les 12 coups de midi)

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In his twenties, Paul never ceases to amaze viewers of 12 noon shots on TF1. Arrived on April 29 on the game board, the candidate from Grenoble, suffering from Asperger’s syndrome, has a string of victories and spreads show after show his impressive knowledge.

During the July 1 broadcast, the history student revealed his love situation after reacting to comments from a candidate who explained to Jean-Luc Reichmann that he was “single for two years”. “It’s not a lot two years … me, it’s since my birth”, he laughed. Since gaining recognition on the streets, Paul was able to please two fans by inviting them onto the show. During the July 18 broadcast, the champion invited a young woman named Lili as a thank you for a gift she gave him. The latter also suffers from the same syndrome as Paul. On August 12, Paul presented Edwige whom he met on a Paris-Rennes train on the set of the show. Fan of the program, the traveler recognized the champion of the TF1 game as he came out of the toilet. An anecdote that did not fail to make Jean-Luc Reichamn laugh. Tease, the host tried to find out this Tuesday, September 24 if his foal remained in contact with Edwige. “She went back to Nice,” replied Paul. If his meeting with the young woman did not lead to a love story, he confides that he receives “a considerable influx of messages!”. Before adding: “I take the parameters, I watch a little, and then there is mom who also watches! In addition, it is certain that in my situation it is difficult, because there are a lot of people who look at me, everyone can write to me or send me things, so you have to be careful”.

Paul has already mentioned his “ideal love” to Jean-Luc Reichmann during the June 10 broadcast. “With someone I could discuss various subjects with, and who wouldn’t have to say ‘what are you talking about'”, declared the young man. “Someone who would know things about subjects that interest me a lot. And, above all, who would have the courage to accept me,” he said. However, he confides that his incredible memory can put people off. “People are impressed, but unfortunately it doesn’t go any further because I scare them. I tell them things and they say ‘But how do you know? I told you that a century ago! ‘. It freaks them out, they think I’m their life, when I just remembered something they said to me three or four years ago.”

Since his passage in Les 12 coups de midi, Paul has been able to count on the support of his family. This is the case of his parents, Sophie and Ali, regularly present in the audience of the show.

His mother, Sophie, works in administration. She carried out missions in Martinique and Reunion, reveals the Femme Actuelle site. Paul’s family was brought to live temporarily in these areas. Sophie has also tried her luck at the casting of the TF1 game, in vain.

His father, Ali, is a former athletics champion from Morocco. He was Moroccan champion in the 3000 m steeplechase in 1989 and French cross-country champion in 2006 and 2007. For the record, Paul wished his father a happy birthday on May 10 when he is not born that day. “We celebrate him on May 10, but we don’t know when he was born. My father was born in Morocco, the civil status is not at the top. As a result, he was born between 1963 and 1966. And on his identity papers, it is marked on January 1. When we do not know the precise date of birth of someone, we put the 1ᵉʳ January”, he explained.

Paul is also the eldest of a family of three children. He has a younger brother named Sami, 16, and a younger sister named Louise, 14. The young champion has a grandmother named Catherine who lives in Avignon (Vaucluse). The latter took the train alone to come and support her grandson during the May 8 broadcast.

In the columns of Télé-Loisirs, Paul confided that he was depressed before the diagnosis of his autism at the age of 16. “I’ve been better for three or four years,” assured the young man. “There will be a before and after show for him in terms of confidence and fulfillment. He reveals himself to himself.” estimated Paul’s mother on the set of 12 noon shots on June 5th.

If the program contributes to the development of Paul, his reign as midday master brings him a certain notoriety. “There are things I didn’t expect.” For example yesterday, when they left the studio with the young people from Mayenne, they wanted to take a photo with the midday master and the presenter afterwards. You passed just after me, I saw you come out from afar,” the young man told Jean-Luc Reichmann during the June 1 broadcast. “It’s actually the first time that we’ve asked for autographs from Paul,” said Jean-Luc Reichamnn. “It’s popularity, I’m very, very, very happy,” concluded the host, visibly happy for the young man.

Tired of his autistic disorder and the frenetic pace of filming, Paul gets a helping hand from the production so that he can breathe enough between two recordings. “Collaborators take more time between shows. I want everyone to have a chance. As with other candidates, I try to be as close as possible to him,” Jean-Luc Reichmann told Télé-Loisirs. The affectionately nicknamed “Wiki Paul” is determined to beat Christian Quesada’s record before considering leaving the game of his own free will like Xavier, a former midday master, who quit for professional reasons. “I could do like him, even if I want to stay playing. At some level, I could leave,” he told Télé-Loisirs.

Three years after his appearance in Les 12 coups de midi, Paul El Kharrat has chained appearances in the media. Among his activities, he joined the band of Laurent Ruquier in Les Grosses têtes on RTL, he participated in the Club des Invincibles in Fort Boyard in 2021 on France 2, or his recent participation in the game Les Traitors on M6.

Thanks to this media exposure, the former midday master has published several books. After telling his story in My 153rd victory (2020) and revealing his passion for legal affairs in Crimes and mysteries of Paris (2021), Paul El Kharrat publishes Welcome to my world, to be published on October 12, 2022 by HarperCollins Editions. A third book in which the young writer reveals his daily life as an autistic person with Asperger’s syndrome.

The opportunity in particular for the young man to return to the day he learned of his diagnosis. “D-Day is coming. The one where I must be told whether I am autistic, carrier of Asperger’s syndrome, or not. This June 22, 2015 which I will remember all my life. I am sixteen years old”, writes between the pages of his book. A difference that will serve as his strength on a daily basis, as during his career in Les 12 coups de midi. A strong testimony to discover in bookstores this fall.