Gay TV launches in France in search of the pink euro

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The Independent Online

A gay television channel, PinkTV, was launched in France last night with backing from three of the country's biggest mainstream channels and several well-known television stars.

A gay television channel, PinkTV, was launched in France last night with backing from three of the country's biggest mainstream channels and several well-known television stars.

More than 3,000 people - gay and non-gay - were invited to a party at the Palais de Chaillot near the Eiffel Tower to celebrate what its backers hope will be a commercial triumph, not a political gesture.

Advance publicity for the cable channel - to be run from Lorient in Brittany - courted controversy. Posters showed a famous picture of the late president François Mitterrand and the former German chancellor Helmut Kohl walking hand in hand at Verdun. The caption read: " Il n'y pas que le sexe dans la vie" (There's more to life than sex).

PinkTV, backed by the most popular French channel, TF1, as well as M6 and Canal Plus, will have original material of gay interest such as chat shows and discussions. However, most of its initial 40 hours of programming a week will be taken up by re-runs of "gay icon" series ranging from Wonder Woman to Absolutely Fabulous and French and Saunders.

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