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How we made Eurotrash: ‘We’d take a look at all these unusual kinks. It traumatised a technology’ | Europe

Antoine de Caunes, presenter

Within the late 80s, I used to be presenting a French music present referred to as Rapido and Janet Avenue-Porter [then BBC2’s head of youth and entertainment] occurred to see it. She mentioned, “I would like that on the BBC”, which was already sort of bizarre. A French man to host a UK rock present, are you kidding? It was like asking a British chef to host a French delicacies programme. When Rapido got here to an finish after just a few seasons, producer Peter Stuart and I have been requested to pitch a weekly journal present. Peter got here up with Eurotrash, which was an try to reconcile Brits with the remainder of Europe. We failed in that mission, I observed!

I had been pals with Jean Paul Gaultier for years, so requested him to co-host. We had a flirtatious relationship on display screen. That’s why I requested him to put on a kilt – to point out off his huge furry legs and keep horny. My English isn’t excellent however his was extremely haphazard. He would learn the autocue very fastidiously however we nonetheless we needed to do many takes. The present took ages to movie as a result of we have been laughing a lot. Think about attempting to maintain a straight face when there’s a unadorned man behind you, doing the helicopter along with his dick. Or German cleaners in G-strings vacuuming the studio. Carla Bruni got here to take a seat on my lap and reply foolish questions. We have been like a household of freaks, reuniting each week to make this weird nonsense present.

‘We had a flirtatious relationship’: Jean-Paul Gaultier and Antoine de Caunes in 1994.
‘We had a flirtatious relationship’: Jean-Paul Gaultier and Antoine de Caunes in 1994. {Photograph}: Baril Pascal/ABACA/Shutterstock

Viewers loved the best way I pronounced sure phrases, particularly “butt cheeks” and “dickhead”. There was a powerful intercourse obsession. We’d take a look at all these unusual kinks and subcultures. Typically it could possibly be scary, however by spending time with these folks, you could possibly inform their tales higher. We tried to not make enjoyable of them however make enjoyable with them. We broadcast at 10.30pm, which was excellent as a result of by that point, everybody in Britain is drunk and feeling a lot looser. Between 2 million and three million folks watched. Often for that slot, it was underneath 1,000,000.

Lately you need to be so cautious however again then, there have been no limits. There have been a number of complaints however we beloved being outrageous. It was like a window on the loopy world, which at present you possibly can entry with a click on. Once I meet Brits aged between 30 and 50, they inform me, “We weren’t allowed to look at Eurotrash, we needed to disguise behind the couch whereas our mother and father have been watching.” It traumatised an entire technology within the UK.

The thought was to point out you repressed Brits that there was some lightness, craziness and freedom on this chilly, darkish continent referred to as Europe. You didn’t imagine us, clearly.

Maria McErlane, narrator

I despatched in a voice tape, then acquired referred to as in to fulfill the producers. They confirmed me clips of individuals in numerous phases of undress and psychological disarray. We mentioned whether or not the narration ought to be straight or tongue-in-cheek. Clearly, I assumed the latter. Eurotrash was a method of getting risque materials on air with a cheeky postcard giggle. It was meant to titillate in a method that might nonetheless be on terrestrial TV. All of us thought it might be cancelled inside seconds, so have been fairly cavalier about it. I can’t imagine we acquired away with it so lengthy – 16 sequence and infinite specials. It was a responsible pleasure. My agent on the time mentioned, “We gained’t put this in your CV, darling.”

A part of its enchantment was the tempo – a bit like one other 90s present I did, The Quick Present. It was the MTV technology. You’d present simply sufficient, then swiftly transfer on to one thing else. Every week, I’d go in and rattle via pages of voiceover script. Often if I felt it was too “humorous foreigner”, I’d ask to tone it down. It’s a effective line between teasing and xenophobia. The underlying tone was “Aren’t we nice? We’re British and these bizarre persons are in Europe.” At the least again then, we have been in Europe too. I mourn the day.

The tone of the narration has been a lot copied however imitation is the perfect type of flattery. The phrases “German” and “poo” hang-out me nonetheless as a result of there was an terrible lot of that. Germans are very scatological. Once I did my vocal warm-ups, it’d be: “Welcome to Eurotrash. Tonight we’ve acquired some Germans pooing, large tits and some penises.” It was all linked collectively by Antoine and Jean Paul, who had this fairly camp relationship. Antoine was a mercurial creature. He did a political programme again in Paris and was very severe. He’d be studying Proust backstage however as quickly because the purple digital camera mild got here on, he’d flip right into a comedy Frenchman: “’Ello my British pals!”

The web was in its infancy once we began in 1993. We confirmed each orifice and crevice nevertheless it appears tame in relation to porn websites that at the moment are a click on away for 14-year-olds. Eurotrash was nearly like College Problem as compared.

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