Philip Alexander, former political columnist at RTL known for the bite of his chronicles and author of numerous books, sometimes controversial, died Monday morning at the age of 90 in Le Touquet, his family announced to AFP. “Philippe Alexandre died peacefully this morning“, said one of his two daughters, Agnès Alexandre-Collier, in a message sent to AFP with the agreement of her sister and her mother-in-law, the journalist and writer Béatrix de l’Aulnoit. RTL from 1969 to 1996 also worked on television, notably alongside Serge July, “He will be buried in Le Touquet cemetery.“, in Pas-de-Calais, this Saturday.
Journalist “purely political“looking like Inspector Colombo, Philippe Alexandre was a”pioneer of radio scratch hair and drypoint“, said his accomplice on television, co-founder of ReleaseSerge July.
His columns on RTL, listened to every morning by hundreds of thousands of listeners, were feared by politicians on all sides. A few of them”can reflect moods, bad faith, excesseshe declared to Figaro in 2016. But isn’t this specific to the function of editorialist?.
A brilliant journey
Born in Paris on March 14, 1932 into a family of Jewish origin, whose story he told in My tribe more than French (2017), he started in journalism in 1951 as an editor at Fight. He joined RTL in 1969 after going through The liberated Oise, French days, The New Candid Where The Literary Figaro.
“The man with libel suits as numerous as his political works“as described by the World, spared no head of state. He claimed that the Élysée had asked for his resignation in 1982 “pto appease François Mitterrand to whom my chronicles gave hives“. On television, from 1989 to 1992, he co-hosted the political show Debate on TF1, with Serge July and Michèle Cotta, then, in the 90s, Sunday night on France 3 with Christine Ockrent and Serge July, which earned him frequent parodies in the Info Guignols, on Canal+. He left RTL in 1996, after the merger of the Compagnie luxembourgeoise de télédiffusion (CLT) with the German group Bertelsmann.
Having become a political columnist for BFM, France 3 and various magazines, Philippe Alexandre has published some twenty books, including Countryside landscapes (on the 1988 presidential election, Today award), Too many taxes kill jobs (2005) or Politics Lover’s Dictionary (2011). He co-wrote several books with his partner Béatrix de l’Aulnoit, including a pamphlet against Martine Aubry, The Lady of 35 hours (2002), which angered the socialist leader.
“Following the announcement of the death of Philippe Alexandre, tributes followed one another. Death of Philippe Alexandre: he was, at RTL, our most free, independent columnist. Irreverent, very well informed, feared and listened to by the political world. Proud, heir to Voltaire and Paul Louis Courier. Full respect“, reacted Philippe Labro. “Philippe Alexandre is no more. We were far from in agreement. That’s what amused him and he respected it. A great journalist is no more. Condolences to his loved ones, tweeted Jean-Christophe Cambadélis. “Philippe Alexandre is dead. I remember our many exchanges, a long time ago. We were far from always in agreement, but he knew all about politics, and his mind was as sharp as his pen was sharp. It’s a great voice that disappears“, wrote Pierre Moscovici.