The patron for the 2018 Airshow is the TV journalist and writer Patrick Poivre d’Arvor.
Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, also known as PPDA, was a newsreader on the evening news for thirty years and has over 70 books to his name since his first novel Les enfants de l'aube which he wrote when he was just 17. Several of them have received prestigious awards; l’Irrésolu received the Prix Interallié (2000), Un enfant was distinguished by the readers of Livre de Poche books (2001) and La mort de Don Juan won the Prix Maurice Genevoix (2004). The books dedicated to his daughter Solenn, (Lettres à l’absente, 1993 and Elle n’était pas d’ici, 1995) who committed suicide while suffering from anorexia, where widely acclaimed. The money raised helped to found a treatment centre; la Maison de Solenn, in Paris. His last two books came out in 2015, Un homme en fuite (Robert Laffont) and l’Odyssée des marins (Bouquins), co written with his brother Olivier. A publication on Antoine de St Exupéry was published in 2016 called St Exupéry, le cartable aux souvenirs (Michel Lafon).
On top of his remarkable career in literature and journalism, Patrick Poivre d’Arvor presented literary programmes over a period of 20 years (Ex Libris and Vol de nuit) and continues his work as a presenter with the show on France5; Une maison, un artiste.
In 2012, he directed the TV film Mon frère Yves based on the book of the same title written by Pierre Loti, starring Thierry Frémont and Jérome Kirscher.
An ardent Opera lover, he directed Carmen along with Manon Savary for over 30 performances (2010), then Don Giovanni for Opéra en Plein Air in prestigious châteaux (2013 in Belgium and 2014 in France). In 2014 he wrote the Libretto for Caroline Glory’s opera, Un amour en guerre, which he also co directed in Metz with Manon Savary. A rerun is planned for this autumn to mark the centenary of the Great War - the opera’s theme.
He has set his book Anthologie des plus beaux poèmes d’amour to music with the help of his friend, the pianist Jean-Philippe Collard, giving recital-readings called Chopin, l’âme déchirée, since 2011.
He plays the role of French writer Apollinaire in l’Engrenage; the play created by pianist Hugues Leclere, and the role of Van Gogh in les Lettres à Théo with his brother Olivier and Cellist Caroline Glory. He also plays in les Lettres à Lou, Le Petit Prince, l’Insoutenable légèreté de l’être (joined by harpist Anja Linder), and the works of Colette and George Sand.
He regularly narrates for other performances such as Transmusibérien with the Quatuor Salieri or le Violon sur le sable festival in Royan, accompanied by the cellist Camille Thomas. He has paid tribute to authour Julien Gracq with readings set to music again, with pianist Claire Désert at the Festival de St Florent le Vieil.
Also active in the theatre, he adapted Stefan Zweig’s play Légende d’une vie, and played the leading role in Garde alternée, (play by Edwige Antier and Louis Michel Colla) in two leading theatres in Paris.
He has been presenting a news and culture programme on Radio Classique since 2014, «le 19h-20 de Patrick Poivre d’Arvor», and «Vive les livres» on C News since 2017.
He has been the ambassador for francophone countries at UNICEF since 2004.
Not only a Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur, he’s also an Officier de l’Ordre du Mérite (National Order of Merit), and Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres for his contribution to literature and art.