How Jim Carrey stole the show on the French news

The actor Jim Carrey has extended his reputation as an irrepressible off-screen clown by turning France's most watched television news programme into a comedy show.

His extraordinary performance is on the way to becoming the most-watched video clip on the French language internet.

As the anchor on TF1's Eight O'Clock News, Claire Chazal, turned to talk to Carrey about his new film, she found him sitting inches away from her, rather than in the normal guest's seat. He stared longingly into her eyes, as if hypnotised. "I don't know if people realise how beautiful you are. From here, you are truly magnificent," he said. "There should be more lights and cameras on you to show that."

Stifling laughter, the glamorous Chazal, 53, asked him to move to the interviewee's chair, "where you will be more in the light". Carrey performed an athletic roll across the table and into his correct position.

He managed to talk seriously about his new film, I Love You Phillip Morris, for two minutes, but could not resist another opportunity to flirt with Chazal. When she asked him about his co-star Ewan McGregor, he replied adoringly: "He looks nothing like you."

Carrey informed French television viewers that he was partly French, descended from a Saint-Malo pirate.

As the end credits rolled and the cameras zoomed in on Chazal, Carrey leapt back into the picture like a monkey and screamed: " Au revoir! Paris, je t'aime! Paris, je t'aime!" blowing kisses to the viewers.