Johnny Hallyday - French superstar sans pareil - made his UK debut last night, to hordes of screaming fans at London's Royal Albert Hall.
What's weird about this is not the euphoria that welcomed a giant of French culture, with 75 albums to his name. It was that it's taken him 50 years - actually make that 52! - into his career for him to consider it worth his while crossing a 21-mile stretch of water to perform for the Brits.
Johnny Hallyday is a longtime superstar in his native France
This got me thinking. If not Johnny - who doesn't need us any more than we need him, apparently - who ARE the French stars who've found a firm place in British hearts? When you consider how many Americans we've taken for our own, it just doesn't seem that many, especially when you factor in the massive gifts in exchange we've made - Charlotte Rampling, Jane Birkin, even Kristin Scott Thomas has decamped.
So is the language barrier that much of a block? Or are we just horribly threatened by the effortless chic and attitude carried off by our very near-neighbours? So, with a doffed cap to Monsieur Hallyday for his London concert triumph, here is our gallery celebratoire des arts...
25 of our favourite French stars past and present... go on, who's your favourite and, just as importantly, who have we missed?
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