The passionate backpacker and bon vivant Benoit Roberge is happy to be able to travel again and to be able to show us pictures of his fabulous journeys. His heart, which has been injured in recent years, is lighter now.
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Benoit Roberge has made two major trips abroad in the last few months to bring us two new shows on Évasion. Hooray! “I was really depressed this winter,” admits the presenter. I wondered what I would do. I didn’t know if my programs would come back at Zeste… And then came these two travel series: Benoit among the Belgians and Thai tower.”
He can just be seen guiding us through the land of fries, waffles, chocolate and beer. Benoit walked as much in Liège and Namur as he did in Ostend, Bruges, Antwerp and Brussels… During his visit to the country’s capital, was he disappointed by the small size of the Manneken Pis, Belgium’s emblematic statue? “Yeah. It shows that when the buzz hits something… But there are days when we dress it up, so it gets a little bit fun. You wonder what he’s going to wear on the day you you’re there. He was already dressed up as a lily on St. John’s Day when Elvis…”
He’s made some great friends. Especially with the Belgian humorist Bruno Coppens. “He’s so funny! It was a huge hit! He’s coming to Quebec in the fall and he said to me, ‘You’re going to come on stage to make a tune.'” A big fan of comics, Benoit indulged himself met Midam, the guy who does it Paddle board for kids. He received me in his house. It was interesting to ask someone who makes comics why the Belgians excelled so much in this area.
WITH FRIENDS IN THAILAND
Benoit also traveled to Thailand with his friend Jean-Michel Dufaux to film the show Thai tower, which we will see this fall. “It’s a place that Jean-Michel knows well. He has been there many times since 1998. He’s talked about it a lot. I found it far. He asked me, “When are we going there?” And it’s touching that we’re doing it together for television.
The 35-day journey, during a time of great heat, was gastronomic, but also introspective and spiritual. “We visited temples. There were emotional moments. We went to the monks. I spoke about my father who died in 2018… “In this series we will see the depth of their friendship which has lasted for 25 years. “I owe him a lot to Jean-Michel because he was there at the beginning of my career. Together we did street entertainment before the Just for Laughs galas for Canal Indigo, he recalls. We are a good team. He is very knowledgeable about his subject, I tend to be more reactive.
A PAIN OF LOVE
Work allowed him not only to meet friends, but also to experience love. A few years ago, while filming in France, Benoit fell in love with Parisian Marie Sanson. The couple had shared their sentimental story in a book that was released in fall 2020. Our Crossings: Romantic and Practical Notebook on Montreal and Paris. “With the pandemic, our story didn’t last. It was very difficult for me. I’ve sunk really, really low. We didn’t shoot and I had heartbreak, he admits. There was a good age difference between us… And Marie couldn’t imagine giving up everything to come and live here. I’ve been there a lot, but not enough to say I could make a career there. This means we broke up in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. For a year and a half it was very, very hard! Also, our book came out after we broke up! I’m talking about it today and it’s going well, but I wasn’t strong during that time.
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