Star commentator of TF1, Grégoire Margotton admits that he cannot afford the same freedom of tone as one of his illustrious predecessors, Thierry Roland.
Star commentator of TF1, Grégoire Margotton has established himself as the voice of football for the major matches of the France team. Even if, as he assumes perfectly, his style is more sober than that of one of his glorious predecessors.
Margotton and the Roland Style
“The fact is that when you are in your fifties, you have all heard the same voice three times out of four to accompany the French team, that of Thierry Roland, explains Margotton in an interview granted to the Quotidien du Sport. Inevitably, it leaves traces. Reflexes persist. But times have changed and no commentator has the same impact. It would be impossible to comment in the same way today and fortunately because there are things that can no longer be said. I would allow myself to say a quarter of what he said on the air in the 80s and 90s, I would trigger a national controversy. »
The cigarette with the players in the locker room, it’s over
Times have changed, and so has the way of working. “When I see the images of the 80s, Thierry Roland who comes to smoke his cigarette in the locker room after the matches… this time is well over. I started my career in 1992, until the early 2000s, we could go to all the clubs, without exception, the day before matches, in training, to chat with the coaches, talk about everything, from the life, its players, its choices, etc. Since then, the clubs have closed their doors and I am like all my colleagues, forced to go through press conferences and mixed zonesexplains Margotton. And since I’m not the type to go out clubbing to rub shoulders with them, relationships are necessarily limited. And again, I consider myself privileged insofar as I work for a media partner of the France team with easy access for interviews, even if there are strata to go through, especially agents. »
On TF1, a “general public” comment
Margotton joined TF1 before Euro 2016, from Canal+ where he worked for Ligue 1 and the Champions League. The now friend of Bixente Lizarazu had to adapt his way of commenting by changing the audience. “Yes, the evolution is there. I clearly rocked, especially when I learned that the expression ‘general public’ was not a dirty word. When I spoke to several thousand viewers on Canal+, I went to several million on TF1, a good part of whom only watch football every four years. I therefore have to be more accessible, not to bore them with too many stats or tactical notions »he explains.