Interview

Pierre Rabbat, the "enfant terrible" of television!

Meet the amazing Pierre Rabbat.
By Janine Ayoub
May 23, 2016

He is one of the most iconic figures of MTV. Success after success, Pierre Rabbat has participated in the emancipation of the Lebanese media landscape. The young man came from an engineering and technology background before discovering and shining on the television. Special met the Lebanese television's favorite host, as we are big fans of his growing fame.

 

How does it make you feel to launch the careers of young talents in your program?

It makes me super happy because there are people who have given me the opportunity to be on TV and they believed in me. It's my turn to support people who have potential and I think they will have a very bright future. I want to clarify that I did not know them at all before the show!
First of all, I followed Elie Sleiman on Facebook and I found him really funny. He also sent me a message telling me how much he loved TV and my show. While preparing Menel Ekher, I contacted him. He was supposed to prepare the topic Radar which was supposed to be presented by a comedian. Elie prepared the sequence from A to Z by presenting it himself and passed me the tape. I almost died of laughter! I knew he was going to make the difference on the screen and he did it hands down!
Same thing for Mario Chiha; I was following him on Instagram and I appreciated his many short videos. I offered him to come and do the same thing on the small screen.
As for André Sayegh, he's a longtime friend who has always wanted to do television. I told him to watch the show 'Touche Pas à Mon Poste' and suggested him to choose a sequence in that show's optic. He returned with his famous title "w khayyak shou ra2yo"!

 

MTV was often accused of lacking innovation since the majority of its programs are adaptations of foreign shows...

What the audience doesn't know is that the adaptation of a program to a Lebanese or Arabic audience is already a challenge in itself. We cannot just take the French program as it is, let's take Cyril Hanouna's show for example; we cannot just copy and then paste it to the Lebanese TV. We need to create a sequence that goes with our audience while remaining faithful to the spirit of the show and that’s where the difficulty lies. Moreover, beside my job as a TV host, I am also Director of Development at Studio Vision, my job is mainly creating programs and purchasing formats and adapt them to the Arab countries.
Last year, I created a quiz program, Who Will You Trust, and I attended the Cannes Film Festival as part of the competition "Miptv". We won the second prize, which means that we have the capacity to innovate, but this doesn't prevent the purchase of successful foreign programs! In short, if you want to create, you can create.

 

Your favorite local and international TV presenter?

Locally, I respect enormously Marcel Ghanem who's someone who really understood the concept of TV and how to make a good reputation of himself. In addition, despite the numerous situations in which the country has went through, he would always stay positive.
Internationally I like Arthur, Thierry Ardisson, and recently Cyril Hanouna who I've personally met. In the United States I would say Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon.

 

The show you would like to present?

Everything that I've presented till now... I would like to make a one to one late night show some day like David Letterman, Colbert ... I don't like to rush into things, for now I'm comfortable positioning myself in the style which the public has become accustomed to, this way I'll gain maturity before moving forward to something else.

Check out the full interview in our issue of May 2016.