La TV in French

Much has been made about what divides the British and the French, but increasingly the thing that is uniting these two fractious nations is a TV channel. TV5MONDE is available to UK viewers in standard Sky and Virgin packages and reaches 243 million homes worldwide. One reason for its success is that most of its programmes include English subtitles making them very accessible to all.

So far this year a growing audience in Britain has enjoyed extensive coverage of the Cannes Film Festival in May when TV5MONDE showed past Cannes award-winning films throughout the month.

As well as movies, sports fans in the UK have been picking up on the channel’s rugby coverage with live games from the Top 14, France’s premier rugby league, with Johnny Wilkinson’s last match of his career, exclusively on TV5MONDE at no extra cost.

In July viewers can enjoy a real taste of French culture with some top foodie programmes with the new season of Comme un Chef (How a Chef Does It) onWednesdays at 8pm and Les Escapades de Petitrenaud (Petitrenaud’s Journeys) on Tuesdays at 11am. Film lovers can enjoy classic comedy with Gerard Depardieu in Les Compères (The Godfathers) onMonday, July 14 at 11pm and Les Fugitifs (The Fugitives) onMonday, July 21 at 11pm.

As well as entertainment, a growing number of British viewers are using the channel to improve their French. The French language is woven into TV5MONDE’s entire output and it has developed a FREE learning and teaching platform which has proved hugely successful with an online exercise undertaken every eight seconds, worksheets for TV programmes downloaded every 29 seconds and 58,000 teachers signed up to receive e-learning e-mails.

TV5MONDE knows that one of the most popular ways for we Brits to brush up our French is to tune into 7 Jours sur la Planète, a 26-minute weekly news round-up on the channel at 10am on Saturdays, then available to view free online or via smartphone and tablet for the next 14 days at Each programme has a learning and teaching pack.

And if you’re London based and want to learn French, the French Language Centre at the Institut Français in South Kensington offers a large range of classes that can be taken anytime day or evening, for all levels, in groups or one on one, for general French or even à la carte. They also offer classes taught using the 7 Jours sur la Planète programme.

So, grab your café au lait, treat yourself to a croissant and find yourself transported to France.


TV5MONDE’s educational websites offer huge amounts of free online tools and resources, downloadable programme excerpts, lesson ideas, exercises and complete TV programmes for anyone who’s either learning or teaching French at home or at school. The learning site is also available in English, with more than 100 exercises and 30 worksheets available. Both sites are available on smartphones and tablets. for French learners for French teachers


Comme un Chef features six apprentices who get the chance to learn from celebrated chefs –Wednesdays at 8pm.

Les Escapades de Petitrenaud follows the travelling gourmand around France in search of local specialities – Tuesdays at 11am.

Classic Gerard Depardieu filmsthroughout July – Mondays at 11pm and Sundays at 8pm.

Find us on Sky channel 799 and Virgin channel 825