sport saved him from depression... And saved his career!

sport saved him from depression… And saved his career!

Olivier Minne went through a complicated slump. (Photo by Eric Fougere/Corbis via Getty Images)

At the controls of the program “Le club des invincibles” this Saturday June 4, 2022, Olivier Minne finds the viewers of France 2 a few weeks before the return of “Fort Boyard”. Become essential on the public service, the host has yet gone through a real slump a few years ago. He almost fell into depression.

In the 80s, Olivier Minne entered the world of television not in front of the camera, but behind it. In parallel with his studies in classics, he was first assistant cameraman at RTL Television, then a member of the administrative department of Antenne 2: he was then in charge of sorting the archives and storing the cassettes. A post that allowed him to get to know the one who would become his lucky star, Anne-Marie Tournier, who encourages his colleague Jacqueline Joubert to give him tests.

In 1991, the very young Olivier Minne, strong in his physique as a young first, hosted his first broadcasts on France 3, taking control of the broadcasts “Les Mondes Fantastiques” and “Génies en herbe”, then went on to projects… Until at the end of the 90s, where he encountered a bad patch that would put his career and his mental health at risk.

Video. Olivier Minne was chosen for Fort Boyard thanks to his physical transformation

He wasn’t as popular anymore

After several years of exposure, he finds himself on more confidential projects, and his popularity rating collapses. Guest on the program “There is not just one life in life on Europe 1”, the host spoke of his difficulties in reclaiming his place in the spotlight: “Television was nice to me , cruel sometimes, and a few times very violent”, he says. “I had hard times. I was no longer earning money, could no longer pay my rent and my food, I saw people around me who I thought were friends and who turned their backs on me.”

His decision was then made: he left France for the United States, in order to rebuild himself. “I wasn’t a star, I was a little famous, but unfortunately for me, enough to be a little annoyed in the supermarket or in the street, by people who, without malice, told me ‘We don’t see you anymore ‘ (…) And it reminded me that I had been abandoned by those who I thought were friends. So, I preferred to leave.”

Los Angeles, sport and the fight against depression

After having considered settling in New York, it is finally on the west coast that he puts his suitcases. “I went far to LA rather than New York. Because in LA, when I woke up and started my day, Paris fell asleep. As I started my day and entered my new energy, those who had tried to hurt me or who had simply abandoned me fell asleep.” The perfect way to cut ties.

In the columns of Here in Paris, he revealed a few years ago that it was there that he had changed his lifestyle: “I had the impression that this crossing of the desert would be endless. Suddenly , instead of sinking into alcohol or depression, I started exercising.” His goal was not “to try to change his appearance”, he told Europe 1, just to “resist the temptation of depression.” To the team, he said: “As soon as I had a soft spot, I went to take refuge in the gym. It was for me an initiatory path to get closer to myself. And I very quickly discovered that, not content with expelling these anxieties, working on my body allowed me to reconnect with myself.”

A resounding comeback and lasting success

A year and a half of slump later, Olivier Minne finds France Télévisions, and his new silhouette opens new doors for him. “It wasn’t until I came back to television that I felt that the way other people looked at me had changed.” In 2002, it became Pyramide’s key word in the new version of the show. The following year, he was given the keys to Fort Boyard. For 6 years, he co-hosted the show, first with Sarah Lelouch then with Anne-Gaëlle Riccio. Since 2010, he has been hosting alone, and his popularity continues to grow, making him the figurehead of public service in many ways.

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