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1949-2021: host Grichka Bogdanoff died

One of the brothers of the eccentric duo Bogdanoff died of COVID-19 on Tuesday at the age of 72. A television figure of the 1980s, he leaves behind an image of a controversial scientist.

Of the inseparable twin duo emblematic of French television, only Igor Bogdanoff remains. Her brother, Grichka, is dead « to reach its stars » writes his family in a press release sent by his agent. According to The world, the two brothers, not vaccinated, would have entered the intensive care unit of the Georges-Pompidou hospital on December 15, after contracting COVID-19.

When we speak of the two brothers, his first name is always mentioned second. And the rare times a portrait distinguishes the personality of each of them, as in Release in 2002, Grichka is the one who, « head in the stars », is surrounded by old books when Igor is presented as more down to earth. Another notable difference: Grichka remained single without children while Igor had six, from three companions. For the rest, there is only one story for two, whether in real life or for storytelling.

Scientific legitimacy contested

Born in 1949, Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff grew up in their grandmother’s castle in Saint-Lary in the Gers. The story they tell later is that of two precocious and polyglot geniuses with stratospheric IQ and astronomy enthusiasts who obtained their baccalaureate at 14 years old. It was in 1976 that they made their first public appearance, in 13 hours by Yves Mourousi on TF1, on the occasion of the publication of their first book, Keys to science fiction (Seghers). They then join the team of columnists of the show. One out of five on Antenne 2 before launching on TF1 in April 1979 the program which will make them famous, Time X.

Decked out in futuristic suits (for the time) in a spaceship decor, the two brothers thus offered, until 1987, a mixture of sometimes approximate popular science and science fiction, and broadcast series that had become cult such as The fourth dimension, Cosmos 1999 Where The invaders. When the program ends, the twins have become very identified television objects.

However, they left the audiovisual landscape for a decade to devote themselves officially to scientific research, each embarking on a thesis work. A passage from their most eventful biography. If they officially obtained their doctorate at the University of Burgundy, in 1999 for Grichka and in 2002 for Igor, the legitimacy of their work was fiercely contested by the scientific community. In particular in 2003 in an internal report to the CNRS, made public in 2010 by the weekly Marianne. The report concludes as follows: « Faced with so much nonsense, confusion and obvious misunderstandings, we cannot consider them as serious scientific texts. » The Bogdanoffs are suing the CNRS, but will be dismissed and ordered to pay the costs in 2015.

Morphological curiosities

At the same time, from the beginning of the 2000s, Igor and Grichka multiplied without much success the attempts to come-back television (X-rays, Science X, Science 2…) And become strange morphological curiosities, their face having undergone, without any official explanation, impressive modifications (growth hormones to delay aging or cosmetic surgery, we will perhaps never know). Their status as old PAF glories [paysage audiovisuel français] and almost scientific guarantee, however, allows them to find regular folding seats in Big heads and with host Cyril Hanouna in Do not touch My TV.

In 2018, Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff are talking about them on a completely different subject: their indictment for « aggravated scam » to a millionaire suffering from psychiatric disorders. The prosecution accuses them, as well as the son of a Franco-Congolese diplomat, of having put the latter « under control » to train him in « chimerical projects » up to 1.5 million euros. The victim committed suicide in August 2018 and their trial was due to take place at the end of January 2022.

Their own finitude has never been included in their planning. Transhumanists before their time, they were already talking in the 1980s of this hope for humanity to live to 150 years. AT Release, in 2002, they explained: « Duration installs its psychological and physiological hold on us in a very discreet way. » But reality is always the enemy of technoscientific promises and time, X or not, always wins in the end.

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