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Dorothée

Dorothée

Dorothée (born 14 July 1953 in Paris), the stage name of Frédérique Hoschedé, is a French singer and television presenter.Her childhoodDorothée (Frédérique Hoschedé) was born on 14 July 1953 in Paris, as a coincidence, she was born on Bastille Day, and because of her grand mother, she believed the fireworks were done in her honour. Her mother was a housewife and her father was an engineer. She has an older brother, Jean-François. She attended a very strict private school in Bourg-la-Reine, close to Paris. During her childhood, she practised dance, piano and horse riding. When she was 11, she won the third prize of a piano competition. Two years later, she visited her penpal Sue in England, she discovered Rock’n’roll, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.She passed her Baccalauréat, then she started a BA in English.The early beginningsDuring her last-but-one high-school year, she took part in a theatre competition. She was playing a role in a modern version of Un caprice by Alfred de Musset. She had directed the play herself! Her troupe won the first prize. One of the jury members was a lady called Jacqueline Joubert who was working for French TV. She particularly noticed her and asked her if she wanted to present a programme. Frédérique accepted. Two years later, in 1973, she was contacted and asked to present a short junior program with a funny muppet called Blablatus. Since the first name Frédérique suits both for males and females, she was given the stage name Dorothée, and her show was called Dorothée et Blablatus. But French TV channels were suddenly restructured and the show was withdrawn.The wilderness yearsThen, she presented a sequence called “le club”, the last part of a bigger program called “Les visiteurs du mercredi” (Wednesday’s visitors). She also presented a TV game “Réponse à tout” (Answer everything) where she was supposed to tell the players off and shout at them! Unfortunately, the program manageress Eliane Victor declared she was incompetent and that she had better change her job. Dorothée was fired and found herself jobless. She worked as a secretary in a plumbing fixture factory, then as a waitress, and finally as a sandwich woman in a supermarket!Back to TVShe found a job as a stand-in in TV studios. Then, the second channel (Antenne 2) organised an announcer casting. She tried it and passed! During the selection, she was supposed to simulate the interview of a director: she was a bit nervous and asked her first question and added “that was not my question at all, but please answer !”. She delivered her first announce on 2 April 1977.Récré A2The early yearsIn September 1977, Jacqueline Joubert called her again: she wanted to create a new junior show with her: Dorothée et ses amis (Dorothée and her friends). It was quite successful. She presented it with a few other presenters, including a famous French cartoonist: Cabu. He created a funny caricature representing Dorothée with a very long witch-nose! This drawing became very famous. The program was renamed “Récré A2” in 1978. (a pun meaning: second channel playground). The program was a mixture of cartoons, sequences, funny short films... It was supposed to last only one summer, it actually lasted 10 years! She was both a presenter and an announcer!The actress and the singerIn Récré A2, she often had to act and play different roles. Still in 1979, she played in L'amour en fuite (Love on the Run by François Truffaut. "Récré A2" became more and more successful, children really enjoyed it! She was asked to record a disc containing stories for children, on this disc, she had to sing a couple of verses. She refused first. She finally accepted and recorded a whole disc of songs called “Dorothée au pays des chansons” (Dorothée in the land of songs) produced by Jean-Luc Azoulay and Claude Berda (AB production). Then, she performed cartoon themes (mainly The Smurfs), and dozens of folk songs for a sequence of Récré A2 called “Le jardin des chansons” (song’s garden). At that time, she was a multi-purpose star: announcer, singer, actress and presenter! In 1980, she played in Pile ou Face by Robert Enrico. It was her second and last film.The early 80’sIn 1981, the presenters of Récré A2 acted in a musical performed in the Olympia, a famous concert hall in Paris. The show was actually the adaptation of her disc. In 1982, Jean-François Porry, one of her producers, created a whole album for her. From 1982 to 1997, she recorded one album a year! Her first hits were Tchou tchou le petit train (choo choo the tiny train), Rox & Rouky (French theme for The Fox and the Hound), Hou ! la menteuse (boo the liar), La Valise (the luggage). The single “Hou la menteuse”/”La valise” was probably the most successful one of her career. The song “la valise” is an enumeration of what she puts in her luggage, and there will be a new version in every album! The next years, she recorded some of her main hits: Pour faire une chanson (to make a song), Qu'il est bête (he's so dumb), Allo allo monsieur l'ordinateur (hello hello mister computer), Vive les vacances (long live holidays), Maman (mommy)… and she also got an award for the French theme of the film Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure. In the meantime, she carried out presenting Récré A2 and performing on stage in musicals (Dorothée - Tambour Battant in 1981 / Au royaume de Diguedondaine in 1982 / Pour faire une chanson in 1983 / On va faire du cinéma in 1985). She was also the star of a Christmas show in 1983.Récré A2: the institutionRécré A2 was broadcast daily, at different moments of the day. Dorothée was assisted by many other presenters: Ariane Gil, Jacky, Corbier, Patrick, Charlotte, Marie, Alain, Zabou... some of them stayed only a few months, others stayed a few years... Many stars were often invited in the show. Dorothée could sing her own songs which was a cheap way of promoting them! In 1986, she made her first real performance (not a musical) in a very big French Concert Hall: le Zénith.Le Club DorothéeThe late 80’sIn 1987, she had been hosting Récré A2 for 10 years. Her producer and she were contacted by a rival channel: TF1. They were offered a high budget, larger studios and attracting salaries. A new show was created: Club Dorothée, with cartoons, sketches, games... it consisted in a daily show, before school, after school, and almost all day long on holidays, with an audience and 5 presenters: Dorothée, Ariane, Jacky, Patrick and Corbier. All of them coming from Récré A2. In the meanwhile, Récré A2 hardly tried to survive but it did not last very long: it was based on Dorothée’s personality and since she was away, the show was not the same. It stopped in 1988 but nobody really cared about it anymore. Club Dorothée was really more attractive since children could win expensive gifts, take part to the show... On Wednesday afternoons, the team was hosting a 3 hour performance on stage, with an orchestra: Les Musclés, who became Dorothée’s musicians.The criticsEven if the program was extremely popular, it was also highly criticised by politics, parents, intellectuals and teachers. Actually, most of the Japanese cartoons were said to be too violent by parents. Besides, the games and the sketches were considered as ridiculous and stupid, sometimes racist. And terrible rumours were going round about Dorothée, pretending she hated children, she had played in porn films, she was interested in money... Many times, she responded to critics by doing allusions in the sketches, the songs... and she also accepted to justify herself in some interviews, telling that people mixed up violence and action. For instance, in one of her song, she says she just doesn’t care about what so-called intellectuals can say about her... “I keep happy days in my heart, I forget rainy days”.The actressShe did not play in any other films, but appeared in a few episodes of British soap “The Wild Bunch” in 1991 and from 1987 to 1992, the whole team played in a weird and loony sitcom called “Pas de pitié pour les croissants” (Don’t mind the croissants). In one scene of this sitcom, we could see two homeless emptying a bin in which they found a book by the politician Segolène Royal who had criticized them, and telling “this book looks really crap!”. She also played in a couple of Japanese series. In 1996, she performed the theme of a documentary film “L’enfant des neiges” (the snow child).The singerOf course, she had not given up singing! She carried on recording many albums, and most of her songs were great hits: Docteur, Attention danger, La machine avalé (The swallowed machine), Tremblement de terre (Earthquake), Nicolas et Marjolaine, Chagrin d’amour (love sorrows), Les neiges de l’Himalaya (Himalaya's snows), Le collège des coeurs brisés (Broken hearts high school), Une histoire d’amour (a love story), Bats toi (Fight), 2394, Non non ne dis pas (no, don't tell), Bonheur city (Happyness city). And she also performed a lot of shows: in Le Zenith (in 1988 and 1996) and in Bercy (the biggest concert hall of France) in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996. CDs and concert tickets were enormously sold.Around the showFrom 1987 to 1997, Club Dorothée was a reference, an institution, Dorothée was everywhere at any time! Her programs were broadcast about 20 hours a week! Two magazines were created and children could order a membership card. Dorothée also presented a few music shows (in 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994) in which she sang with great rock stars like Chuck Berry, Percy Sledge, Cliff Richard, Ray Charles... Her producers also created many sitcoms whose actors went and sang in Club Dorothée. From 1993 to 1994, she presented “Des millions de copains” (Millions of friends), a program where people could discover charities. Every Christmas, she organised a toy collect for under-privilledged children: Le Noël de l’amitié (Friendship Christmas).The endIn 1995, Dorothée’s last album gave rise to conflicts into the disc company: some parts of the contract had not been respected, so, as a consequence, the following CD was botched up and was not sold as much as the previous ones... Besides, her producers wanted to create their own sky channel, so, that meant rivals for TF1 where Club Dorothée was broadcast. So TF1 decided to stop it. The following was still correct but since it had been on for 10 years, they wanted to change. Club Dorothée was “killed” little by little. The amount of time of broadcasting was reduced, TF1 did not sponsor her last concert... The last show was on 31 August 1997, with the best moments of these 10 years.1997-2005: Where is Dorothée?When the show stopped, Dorothée suddenly disappeared, she was almost totally absent of the media even if rumours pretended she would come back as an actress or in reality TV among has beens... Many fans created websites about her. She only appeared once in 1998 in a show. In 2005, she sponsored a junior musical “Au pays des bonbons” (In the land of candies). Then she accepted to take part to a few shows as a guest to testify about her generation... Nobody had forgotten her, her fans are now in their 20’s and they miss her. One of them even created remixes of some of her greatest hits!2008: Dorothée is back!In March 2008, Dorthée’s producer Jean-Luc Azoulay created a new channel IDF1 (only broadcast in Paris and its region) and Dorothée has accepted to present a new show! With most of the members of her ex team, she hosts “Dorothée, choisissez vos animateurs” (Choose you presenters) a sort of “pop idol”, and “Pas de pitié pour le net” showing the funniest internet videos! She is present in many festivals, she wrote a part of a book about her generation “Les années Dorothée” (The Dorothée years).Back to the stageIn late 2009, rumours said she would sing again and start a new series of concerts. It was actually true: she confirmed it directly on TV. She recorded a new album with about 15 songs, 3 of them being references to her career. She went back to stage twice: Olympia Music Hall in April 2010 and Bercy in December 2010.

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Dorothee - Hou La Menteuse

Hou La Menteuse

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