Since 1987, the Telethon is a TV marathon lasting around thirty hours and broadcast on the France Télévisions TV channels. We’ll see you on December 2 and 3 for the Telethon 2022!
The Telethon, a unique television marathon
On the first weekend in December, the Telethon is broadcast live on France Télévisions TV channels (France 2 and France 3). It is a television marathon unique worldwide due to its duration and live status. Through reports and testimonies, the program highlights the fight of parents and patients affected by rare genetic diseases, previously considered to be incurable. Physicians and researchers come to share the progress in research and the challenges remaining in order to secure treatments for all who need them.
Each year the show is sponsored by a celebrity. In terms of entertainment, the personalities featured in the show, including the celebrity sponsor, are volunteers and join the over 215,000 other volunteers who give their time before and during the Telethon.
Another essential ingredient of the show is the exceptional participation of volunteers and partners, throughout France, in metropolitan France and its overseas territories, as well as abroad.
This commitment on the ground is highlighted during the program on France Télévisions through link-ups or live sequences in participating towns and villages, with reports and testimonials from volunteers, whose generosity and outsized imagination help make the Telethon a wonderful celebration of solidarity.
Throughout the 30 hours, since the very first edition, the Telethon counter lets you track the progression of donations. It totals the pledges made by phone to 3637 or online at telethon.fr, fundraising from events on the ground and partner donations.
Each year, after the counter is reset to zero, the challenge of the Telethon is to raise it as high as possible during the 30 hours.
30 hours of TV programming on France Télévisions
Since its creation, the Telethon has been produced and broadcast by France Télévisions, a loyal partner of AFM-Telethon. The program is also broadcast live in Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Andorra and Monaco.
The public audiovisual group employs exceptional technical resources for the program: link-ups in ambassador towns, platforms in Paris and in the regions and production of dozens of reports.
Several hundred professionals from France Télévisions are involved, including presenters, journalists, decorators, technicians, directs and heads of production. Each year they pool their skills and their goodwill to let the magic flow.
The program has been presented in turn by Claude Sérillon, Gérard Holtz, Michel Drucker, Patrick Chêne, Jacques Chancel, Patrice Laffont, and today by Sophie Davant, Nagui, Cyril Ferraud and many other journalists and presenters from France Télévisions.
The Telethon music
Along with the counter and the 36 37 phone line, the Telethon music is another iconic symbol of the show. It has been unchanged since the show was created in 1987.
An orchestra conductor, pianist and arranger, Marc Goldfeder has composed several program theme tunes, including the one for the Telethon.
“The music was written one week before the first show, and it needed to be catchy and memorable. The idea came to me very quickly and I arranged it fast,” explains Marc Goldfeder.