french talk show

7 French TV Talk Shows for Learners

Americans treasure Oprah and Jimmy Fallon, and the British can’t get enough of Graham Norton.

Who are the beloved talk show hosts for native French speakers?

From late-night talk shows that host the hottest new celebrities to morning shows that discuss the best movies out there, there’s a French talk show for every taste.

Here are seven popular French talk shows (with streaming links): 


1. “Vivement dimanche” (Can’t Wait Until Sunday)

Where to watch: France TV | YouTube

Known for its red couch where guests sit, “Vivement dimanche” invites celebrities to discuss their most recent endeavors in addition to their backgrounds and rise to fame. This talk show is a lot of fun because you get to know some of your favorite celebrities while keeping abreast of the best new art and entertainment projects.

2. “Touche pas à mon poste” (Don’t Touch My TV)

Where to watch: Canal+ | YouTube

This daily news show, hosted by Cyril Hanouna, broadcasts Monday to Friday on C8 at 7:10 p.m. The moderators, along with two or three celebrity guests, discuss the most surprising news and photos from the day. The guests spend time discussing their own lives as well—and usually end up getting teased by the moderators!

3. “C dans l’air” (It’s in the Air)

Where to watch: France TV | YouTube

Since it started in 2001, “C dans l’air” has been a major part of French TV, airing on France 5 Monday to Saturday and hosted by Caroline Roux and Axel de Tarlé.

You’ll get to hear in-depth analysis of major events and news, such as political crises and the real estate market. Experts are invited to give their opinions on these, and viewers can send questions too online or via text.

4. “Ça commence aujourd’hui” (It Starts Today)

Where to watch: France TV | YouTube

For a more heartwarming talk show, there’s “Ça commence aujourd’hui,” presented by Faustine Bollaert and airing on France 2. Guests open up about their personal stories here, and it can get very vulnerable, with topics like their family, emotional struggles and challenges at work. Psychologists and therapists appear too and give their insights.

5.C à vous” (It’s Up to You) 

Where to watch: France TV | YouTube

“C à vous” is hosted by Anne-Elisabeth Lemoine on France 5, and it has a unique format. The hosts and guests are seated around a dinner table, so the atmosphere is more casual and intimate.

It usually starts with a review of the day’s news, followed by guest interviews, including celebrities, politicians and experts. There are even cooking segments where you can watch the chef preparing the meal for the guests!

6. “On n’est pas couché” (We’re Not Asleep Yet)

Where to watch: YouTube

“On n’est pas couché” is one of the most well-known French talk shows ever, with two-and-a-half-hour episodes. Running from 2006 to 2020, it was hosted by talk show king Laurent Ruquier.

For every episode, a group of invited guests would discuss something that happened within the past week. This led to interesting debates that tackled events in both France and the world at large.

7. “Ce soir (ou jamais !)” (Tonight or Never)

Where to watch: YouTube

Frédéric Taddeï was the host of this cultural news talk show. Guests included people from the art world—anyone from actors to writers to comedians to artists, even sometimes those who were considered politically incorrect.

In addition to the interview, the hosts and the guest conducted debates about current cultural events and phenomena. There was even a musical guest in each episode, so it’s great too for learning more about French music!

Setting Up a VPN for Watching French TV

Keep in mind that you’ll need a VPN (virtual private network) to watch any programming on France TV, unless you have the fortune to currently be living in France.

For those of us stuck outside the borders of France, a safe and reliable VPN service is a real godsend. Essentially, a VPN makes it appear as if you’re using the internet in France rather than the United States (or wherever you are).

An easy way to set up a VPN and magically change your location to France is by installing VPNs like NordVPN and ExpressVPN on any of your devices—it works on your computer, smartphone and internet-enabled TVs and game systems.

Why Learn French with Talk Shows?

It’s always great to maintain variety as you continue to learn French. TV shows, radio, music, books and magazines are only some of the many options you have in your pursuit to read, understand and speak French.

What’s great about television talk shows in particular is that they combine a couple of different media at once—you’ve basically got a radio talk show, where hosts take a general theme and create different shows every week that center around that theme, combined with a TV show that has characters and a plot, where viewers get to watch the characters speak (which makes comprehension much easier since you’re able to see the mouths and faces of the speakers).

You could even argue that television talk shows also have elements of your typical newspaper, since many of them are news-centric.

Here are some more reasons why you should add talk shows to your daily schedule.

You Keep Up with French Current Events

As I just mentioned, many French talk shows will center around the news—often with a humorous spin.

Just as the United States boasts talk shows like “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”, the radio news quiz, and humorous, late-night TV news shows like “The Daily Show,” the French have their own shows like “On a tout essayé,” the humorous news-oriented talk show that ran for seven years before ending in 2007, and “Tout le monde en parle,” a similarly structured show that ran for eight years and ended in 2006.

Watching a French news talk show—humorous or not—is a great way to keep up with current events (and to hear what some native French speakers think about them).

You Learn More About French Culture

Just as reading a French novel or watching a French movie will help you get acquainted with French culture, watching a talk show will allow you a more intimate and straightforward opportunity to observe French in action.

After all, you’re listening to French speakers discuss everything under the sun, from arts and entertainment to politics and current events. Plus, you’re hearing (with no filter) what they think about them. You’ll hear the silliest and raucous jokes about them.

This could be one of the best ways to immerse yourself in language and culture, besides directly making French friends.

You Practice Listening to French Conversation

Whether you’re just beginning to acquaint yourself with casual French conversation or you’re trying to master the little subtleties, it’s always a good idea to practice watching the natives have a normal conversation.

The more exposure you get to everyday French dialogues, such as talk shows, the more natural your French will be. 

Take notes as you go and ask your French friends later about phrases you don’t understand or little words you can’t identify. The more you watch and listen closely, the more you’ll adopt into your own vocabulary and casual conversation skills.

To learn more authentic French, you can also practice with FluentU. 

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the French language and culture over time. You’ll learn French as it’s actually spoken by real people.

FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews and web series, as you can see here:


FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive subtitles.

You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used.


For example, if you tap on the word "crois," you'll see this:


Practice and reinforce all the vocabulary you've learned in a given video with FluentU's adaptive quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning and play the mini-games found in the dynamic flashcards, like "fill in the blank."


As you study, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a 100% personalized experience.

It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)


As you can see, whether you love news or cultural events or entertainment, there’s a French talk show suited to your interests.

Go find your show—and enjoy!

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