Postcard from... MONTPELLIER


Three competing teams embarked on a new contest on French television last night in which they have to get from point A to point B in a straight line as quickly as possible. 

Sounds easy? Not when you have to climb walls, jump off buildings and cross rivers to reach the destination.

The show, called Droit Devant! (Straight Ahead), takes place in an urban environment in the Mediterranean city of Montpellier, chosen for its varied geographical contours: a historic centre, a promenade, a botanic garden and modern tower blocks.

Last night’s two-person teams had to cross from one building to another on a rope above a street. The producer, Jonathan Politur, says that unlike reality shows, it was “important for me to reflect positive values, such as  solidarity and pushing  one’s limits”.

“There are confrontations and some tensions, but the main thing is to let ordinary people have an extraordinary experience,” he told Le Figaro.

If the show on France 4 proves popular with French audiences, there are plans to hold the contest in other towns. But it’s not for the faint-hearted: one of two sisters from Bordeaux and Paris twisted her ankle while scaling a wall as they started out on the trail.