Guy Richer was the first game show host of Fort Boyard that captivated TVA viewers for eight straight seasons, from 1993 to 2001. He was accompanied by France Beaudoin. Guy Mongrain later took over as M.C. for the second season, assisted by Marie-Soleil Tougas. Following the tragic death of Marie-Soleil Tougas in a hydroplane accident on August 10, 1997, Sylvie Bernier, a former Olympic diving champion, took over alongside Mr. Mongrain.
Fort Boyard was a TV game show of French origin, which was created in 1990 by Jacques Antoine, Jean-Pierre Mitrecey and Pierre Launay. The broadcast rights to Les Clés de Fort Boyard (the program's name in France) were acquired by more than 20 regional broadcasters around the world, including Germany, Sweden, Belgium, the United States Russia, and of course, Quebec. The formula was identical for all these regional versions, with the exception of Germany.
The program was shot in Fort Boyard in the Charente-Maritime region. Napoléon Bonaparte began construction of the Fort in 1803 to protect the port of Rochefort from attacks by the English conquerors. This wartime building, built along the lines of an 18th century vessel, is washed on by the Atlantic Ocean.
The game show hosts brought hundreds of contestants through the myriad challenges and mazes of Fort Boyard. TV and stage artists, coupled with contestants from the general public, had to demonstrate courage and determination as they made their way through the demanding tests, or had to correctly answer riddles asked by Père Fouras, in order to obtain the much desired keys.
Over the last four years of the broadcast, the contestants' efforts removed nearly $100,000 from the Fort's Treasure Chest. This sum was given to the Fondation Marie-Soleil Tougas, that helpad special needs children, as well as to the Sun Youth organization.
Written by Yvon Chouinard - September, 2008