D'Arvor has presented '20 Heures' since '87

PARIS — Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, iconic presenter of TF1’s flagship weekday evening news program “20 Heures” since 1987, is to step down in September, according to local reports.

Laurence Ferrari, presenter of Sunday evening political talkshow “Dimanche Plus” at paybox rival Canal Plus, is reportedly set to succeed him.

Spokesmen for Canal Plus and TF1 declined to comment.

Poivre d’Arvor, 61, has long been a high-profile figure in French public life, both as a TV journalist and presenter, and as a bestselling author.

He started his broadcaster career in 1971 as a news reader on Gallic radio station France Inter.

Poivre d’Arvor survived two scandals in the 1990s.

In December 1991, TF1 aired what appeared to be a personal interview between Poivre d’Arvor and Cuban president Fidel Castro. However, it was later exposed as footage from a press conference with questions he and a colleague interposed.

While admitting afterwards that inserting the questions had “caused some ambiguity,” the anchor denied having claimed publicly that the broadcast was an actual interview.

In January 1996, a French court issued a 15-month suspended prison sentence and a substantial fine to Poivre d’Arvor for his part in an embezzlement scandal.

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