August 2, 2021

“I took anti-anxiety drugs for years”

To approach this aperitif in the best conditions, we had imagined a specific preparation. Footwork work (jump rope). Auditory reflexology sessions (based on tongue twisting rapper way). fundamental revision (the “decisive moment” as Henri Cartier-Bresson). And then, at the last moment, no. We felt that it would be useless. That, anyway, we would be overwhelmed. It was not lacking. Barely seated at Beurre Noisette, a restaurant at the 15e district of Paris, where he comes as a neighbor, Yoann Riou has occupied the space as he occupies the small screen: by pushing the walls, by pushing the words, by turning up the sound. Sincerely excessive. Excessively sincere.

He is the hero of one of the most curious objects of the world audiovisual landscape: the live broadcast of a football match without any other images than those of the commentators watching him. Italian concept (1970). French adaptation (L’Equipe TV, 2016). Not brand new. But all crazy. The ingredients: exhilaration, exaggeration, extravagance. This does not exempt from accuracy. Tailor-made for Yoann Riou, multifaceted mind in a round body, all-terrain journalist (sports), renowned for his contagious enthusiasm, his addiction to superlatives, his cascading laughter and those high-pitched little cries of joy emitted in rosaries.

Ballet pointes

Here is a guy who is not afraid of anything. Mistake. “I am excruciatingly shy. For a long time, stress consumed me. On the day of the bac, on the way to the examination center, I threw up ten times. I have been taking anti-anxiety medications for years. Otherwise, I couldn’t leave my house. ” One morning, the ball is gone. “It was in 2012. Don’t ask me why. ” We asked anyway. ” I do not know. “ Since then, he has allowed himself some amazing things. Like praising the merits of the apple juice from his native Brittany live before swallowing liters of it or calling the dancer Marie-Claude Pietragalla to lend him a pair of points for a column on studded shoes.

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At his side on the set, Candice Rolland or Raphaël Sebaoun are trying to stay the course. He is rambling. Would there be Bernard Moitessier in this forty-something and dust, son of a fisherman from Loguivy-de-la-Mer (Côtes-d’Armor)? The famous navigator had given up on victory in the first solo round-the-world non-stop race for a ten-month detour in the Indian Ocean. Yoann Riou practices the impulsive parenthesis. “Running away fascinates me. When I was young, I used to say to my mother: “I’m going to join Tom Sawyer in the United States.” ” Ultimately, he leads his boat as he leads his comments: to emotion.

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