TV presenters, sportsmen, journalists… Do you know these 10 celebrities from the Basque Country?
Next time you go on vacation in the Basque Country, keep an eye out for one of your favorite celebrities.
1. Anne-Sophie Lapix
Well-known to millions of French people, Anne-Sophie Lapix was born on April 29, 1972 in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, in the Basque country. Although she left the Pyrénées-Atlantiques a long time ago, the France 2 8pm news presenter is still very attached to her Basque roots and regularly takes part in local cultural events, such as the Classic Festival in Guéthary.
2. Philippe Etchebest
Philippe Etchebest is a French chef born in 1966 in Soissons, Aisne (02). But his father, also a restaurateur, is Basque, as his name suggests (Etchebest means the other house: etxe = house, beste = other). Known for his outspokenness and outbursts, the Michelin-starred chef made a name for himself on M6’s “Cauchemar en cuisine”. “I wasn’t even 2 years old when my love for the Basque Country was born. I spent all my family vacations in Hendaye, with the beach, meals in song and friends!”, reads his Instagram account.
3. Didier Deschamps
Do we still need to present it? With Les Bleus, he won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship. Didier Deschamps, 16 years in the game, one of the greatest achievements in French sport. Born in Bayonne on October 15, 1968, the young Didier Deschamps spent his youth in Anglet. At first, he was drawn to rugby and Basque pelota. But his physical condition was too short, and he turned to soccer withAviron Bayonnais. Whenever he gets the chance, he returns to his native Basque country to recharge his batteries in the heart of the mountains.
4. Bixente Lizarazu
The French Basque region is also the birthplace of other great sportsmen and women, such as footballer Bixente Lizarazu, born in 1969 in Saint-Jean-de-Luz. With the French national team, Bixente (“Vincent” in Basque) won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship. After his retirement from soccer, he became involved in surfing and the protection of the environment and the oceans with the Surfrider Foundation Europe association. You’re more likely to come across him on Guéthary’s surf spots.
5. Serge Blanco
If we’re talking sport, we can’t forget Serge Blanco, nicknamed the “Pele of rugby”. Born in 1958 in Caracas, Venezuela, young Serge was just two years old when he arrived in the Basque country, where he played for Biarritz Olympique, the club where he would spend his entire career. With his charisma and talent, he quickly became one of the most emblematic players in French rugby. He also runs a clothing brand.
6. Jean-Michel Aphatie
Some accents are unmistakable! On RTL and Canal +, journalist Jean-Michel Aphatie has retained the intonations of his native Basque country, where he was born on September 8, 1958. His parents ran a café-grocery in Viodos, a small Basque town of 500 inhabitants. True to his outspoken nature, the political columnist is now considered one of France’s finest interviewers.
7. Christophe Hondelatte
Bring in the accused! Christophe Hondelatte, the famous journalist and TV presenter, was born in Bayonne on December 17, 1962. He has presented many successful TV shows, including “Faites entrer l’accusé”. A man of character and commitment, the emblematic Europe 1 journalist is also very attached to his native region, where he regularly returns to recharge his batteries.
8. Maïtena Biraben
Maïtena Biraben grew up in the Landes region of France, but her father, a native of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, gave her a Basque first name (Maïtena means “loved” in Basque). Today, the former presenter of Canal+’s “Grand Journal” often returns to Larrau, where she got married in 2012.
9. Fabien Onteniente
French filmmaker Fabien Onteniente, a Basque at heart, moved to the Basque country 15 years ago. Known for his hit films such as “Camping” and “Jet Set”, the comedy director divides his time between Bidart and the capital. Between two shoots, the Basque by adoption takes the opportunity to unwind on a surfboard or bike.
10. Jules-Édouard Moustic
Jules-Édouard Moustic, whose real name is Christian Borde, is the long-standing presenter of the Canal + news program “Le journal grolandais”. He shares at least with his character an immoderate taste for the absurd, but also for music. For several years, he has lived in the small seaside town of Guéthary. From his hut at the bottom of the garden, he hosts “I Have A Dream”, a radio station broadcast on peripheral FM in the Basque Country between 2006 and 2011, now available on the web.
photo credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay