Bibiane Godfroid receives the Légion d'honneur!
On Wednesday evening, the French President, François Hollande, decorated Bibiane Godfroid with the title of Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d’honneur in recognition of her career.
There was nothing about this Wavre resident that marked her out for such an astonishing career. Graduating in law and taxation from the Catholic University of Leuven, Bibiane Godfroid began her career as managing editor and presenter for the TV news on the Belgian RTL Télévision channel, before becoming Director of Programmes and Fiction at RTL-TVi in 1987. Godfroid continued to present the RTL-TVi news bulletins until 11 September 1989.
She decided to pursue her career on the small screen in France. In 1991, she became Director of Programmes at Canal J before being asked to be Director of Programming for France 2 by Hervé Bourges.
France welcomed her with open arms. From 1996, she continued her career within the Canal+ Group, firstly as Director of Digital Programmes and Channel Director, then as CEO of the premium channel Kiosque.
She was Director General of Programmes for M6 from 1 January 2007 until 31 December 2014. From 1 January 2015, she became Director General of Production for the M6 Group.
"This is the best reward I've ever received", she explains. "As a Belgian, it is even more special to be honoured by the French Republic. I was very emotional."
Emotions that she wanted to share, firstly with her family, "because professional success is closely linked to a happy personal life", but also "with all the people who have professionally developed alongside me." Twenty people therefore accompanied her to the Élysée Palace to share this special moment. "Receiving this award is also an opportunity to look back and reflect on all that I've done."
Because despite her impressive CV, Bibiane Godfroid admits that she's never been conscious of having marked the history of television. "This is the first time that I've truly realised it. Particularly when I saw the media coverage that it has had in Belgium and, much more than I imagined, in France. I realised that I had been a pioneer and that sometimes I had even been an example for a generation of women. It's really very flattering."