Pete Doherty: Libertines frontman swaps Paris for life in the 'Croydon of France'

Melun is a dull commuter town to the south-east of the French capital

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Libertine, égalité, fraternité… Pete Doherty, the reformed bad boy of British Indie, has shocked the French. It’s not anything to do with bad language, drunkenness or incorrect use of the word tu.

No. Doherty, 36, has abandoned the bright lights of Paris and the French Riviera to set up home in Melun, a dull commuter town south-east of the French capital.

One French news site suggested that this was equivalent to Serge Gainsbourg, the enfant terrible of French popular music in the 1960s and 1970s, choosing to live in Croydon.

The singer made the revelation in a conversation with a writer from the newspaper Le Parisien during the “Rock en Seine” music festival near Paris. He also startled the interviewer by standing up and urinating in the corner of his dressing room.

“Things were getting out of hand for me in Paris,” he said, in French. “I’ve got more space in Melun. The love of my life and her family are French. I like buying old stuff in the antique markets and playing pétanque [boules] in my garden.”

Melun, population 37, 835, is a sleepy commuter town with a struggling shopping street, a couple of malls and troublesome council estates.