Philippe Geluck, Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters
On 14 June, Philippe Geluck received the insignia of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Ambassador to Belgium, Claude-France Arnould. With this award, France has recognised one of the most popular authors in the French-speaking publishing world, but also a great humanist who resonates so closely with people's hearts through his illustrations and his outlook on life.
Born in Brussels in 1954, Philippe Geluck is a veritable one-man band; an illustrator, humourist, actor, and radio and television personality all at the same time. Having graduated from the Higher Institute of the Arts of Spectacle and broadcasting techniques (INSAS) in Brussels in 1975, he started his career as a theatre actor. Le Chat (The Cat) appeared for the first time in a supplement to the daily newspaper Le Soir, on 22 March 1983. Following its success, the international press, from Spain, Portugal, Germany, Iran, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy and America seized the opportunity to incorporate the phenomenon in their publications.
Between 1979 and 2006, Philippe Geluck was to be found on the television, on RTBF and France 2, as a creator and commentator on various programmes. He has also been allured by the world of radio: his popular programmes broadcast by the RTBF included "Jeu des dictionnaires" and "La Semaine Infernale", followed by other work with France Inter, Europe 1, and since 2014, on RTL in the well-known programme "Les Grosses Têtes".
On 16 November 2009, His Majesty King Albert II awarded him with the title Commander of the Order of the Crown "for having spread happiness and good humour". Since 2010, Philippe Geluck has shared an original drawing on his "Le Chat" app every day. In 2013, he published the book Peut-on rire de tout ? (Can we laugh at everything?), a compelling study on laughter in which he makes a strong claim that freedom of thought and expression, often through the prism of humour, is one of the foundations of our democracy.