Jean-Pierre Elkabbach: how his companion Nicole “gave him a taste of life” after a serious health problem

On October 27, 2022, Jean-Pierre Elkabbach published his memoirs The shores of memory, published by Bouquins. On this occasion, the 85-year-old political journalist gave an interview to our colleagues Gala. And he rarely mentions his partner Nicole Avril, who has shared his life for fifty beautiful years.

Jean-Pierre Elkabbach prefers to talk about politics rather than about his private life. But impossible for him not to mention Nicole Avril in his book as she plays an important role in his life. In his memoirs, readers can discover some of his intimacy. During his interview with the magazine, he could not escape questions of a private nature. The chance to discover that it was thanks to a series of chances that one day in October 1972 he met the woman of his life.His car broke down. A Council of Ministers for which I reported ended late. She was on a bus and I saw her from the sidewalk. Immediately seduced by his appearance, I beckoned him to sit with me. Yes, I had that guts“, he confided at first. A dare that paid off since it finally went down.

And what was his surprise when, looking at her, he found that the day before he had “saw his book and his photo in the bookstore where [il aimait] stroll“. What Jean-Pierre Elkabbach must intimidate that “always had a boundless admiration for writers“. Nicole Avril, she didn’t know the journalist who was then a rising television star. The two eventually became one.”Nicole tempered me, protected me from resentment, even though, like the Count of Monte-Cristo, I was sometimes tempted to take the law into my own hands. Without Nicole I don’t know what I would have become‘, he continued. She’s been there through good times and bad. Like when he was thrown off the air after the election of François Mitterrand in 1981, because he was considered too close to the majority. Or when he got sick.

A diagnosed disease

Gala indicates that Jean-Pierre Elkabbach faced a health problem three years ago. He was found to have a five-inch, eight-pound sarcoma (a rare malignant tumor) in his left flank. He underwent major surgery and spent ten days in intensive care. Unsurprisingly, Nicole Avril was by his side when he woke up. “She gave me a taste of life, encouraged me to do my breathing exercises, helped me walk again. I want to leave first so that Nicole is the last face, the last smile, the last look of my life. No rush‘ he confided.

Jean-Pierre Elkabbach can also count on his daughter Emmanuelle (54), actress in the series A French village Remarkable. And he didn’t hide that he was sorry for her. That of having been too absent a father. “We can’t make up for lost time… I won’t let life keep us away“, he assured.

The full interview can be found in the magazine Gala of November 24, 2022.

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