Since June 2010, Les 12 coups de midi has established itself as one of TF1’s flagship programmes. According to the Point article published on July 2, 2022, the average viewership for the game presented by Jean-Luc Reichmann is 3.6 million. Asked by TV Magazine, producer Hervé Hubert explains that the success of the program owes a large part to its host who “contributed to what the format has become”. Indeed, Les 12 coups de midi is the adaptation of an Argentinian game called El Legado, broadcast on Telefe. Jean-Luc Reichmann has reduced the number of candidates to four, compared to six in the original format, and has integrated a champion, entitled “maître de midi”, who can return after each program won. The careers of certain midday masters have been very popular, and the audience figures prove it. On January 14, 2017, 4.42 million viewers watched the elimination of Christian Quesada, according to figures from Médiamétrie.
The story of Christian Quesada had everything of a fairy tale. A single father, unemployed and in the open, he landed for the first time on the set of 12 noon shots on July 4, 2016. Thanks to his memory and his general culture, the fifty-year-old was able to keep his title of midday master for 193 shows in a row, managing to accumulate a kitty of 809,302 euros in winnings and gifts.
Following his historic performances in the TF1 program, the man from Ain is invited to all TV sets to tell his story. He also released an autobiography titled Le Maître de Midi. However, his life took a completely different turn in March 2019. The former midday master was indicted and placed in pre-trial detention as part of an investigation started two years earlier, following a complaint from an underage girl. He acknowledges the facts and is sentenced, in 2020, to three years in prison for “corruption of minors” and “possession and dissemination of child pornography images”. In March 2021, he was released on parole and moved to the Pyrenees-Orientales to find calm and anonymity. This Thursday, October 27, C8 will broadcast an unpublished documentary in which the former champion will deliver for the first time his version of the facts and the testimonies of which he is accused.
The 193 consecutive participations of Christian Quesada in Les 12 coups de midi seemed a difficult record to beat. However, two candidates managed to upset the hierarchy.
On November 21, 2019, Eric, originally from Mellac (Brittany), was the first candidate to surpass Christian Quesada in terms of participation and earnings. Indeed, this draftsman-designer in building with a solid general knowledge recorded 199 participations in a row and accumulated 921,316 euros in winnings and gifts. “I am the first surprised of my career,” he told us in an interview. A journey notably disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Faced with the health crisis, Endemol, the company which produces Les 12 coups de midi, was forced to stop filming and had to send the candidates home in confinement. While TF1 was rebroadcasting old issues of 12 noon shots, Eric was able to resume his job by telecommuting for a few weeks, enjoy his family and do some revisions.
Eliminated on June 19, 2020, Eric resumed the course of his life. “I have returned to a more or less normal life, I know that it will no longer be like before. But yes, I have returned to resume my life as I had left it before”, he confided to Gala , June 26, 2020. Regarding his earnings, the ex-champion told us that he wanted to buy a new house or make an extension to his property. However, his main objective is to protect his family from want. “My goal is already to ensure our future and to be able to ensure that my daughters can study and start in life with the greatest possible comfort”, he explained to us.
Bruno is currently the greatest champion in the history of the 12 noon shots. Originally from Fontenilles, near Toulouse, the candidate appeared on Jean-Luc Reichmann’s game set for the first time on January 20, 2021. After 252 participations, the former researcher for the advertising department of the Eurosport channel managed to accumulate 1,026,107 euros in winnings and gifts, thus becoming the biggest winner of a TV game in France. A record of earnings so far kept by Marie Friedel who had won 1 million euros in Who wants to earn millions?
An extraordinary career for the young man who did not expect to stay so long in the program. “When I made the selections, I already didn’t think I would be taken. I did it a bit for fun and we’ll see what happens after,” he explained to us in an interview. This quiz geek also told us that he’s already given some of his gifts to his friends and saved his money to pay down his mortgage and go on trips.
In an interview with Ciné Télé revue, published a few days before his participation in the France game Le club des invincibles on June 4, 2022, Bruno confides that he has not returned to work and has chosen to invest in the immovable. “To invest the winnings, it takes a lot of time, between appointments with banks, visits to apartments… It’s almost a professional activity”, he revealed to the magazine.