Grichka Bogdanoff, one of the distinctive TV presenter twins best-known in France for the 1980s science fiction TV show Temps X, has died in a Paris hospital at the age of 72, from Covid-19.
His brother Igor is also in hospital with Covid-19. Neither he nor Grichka had been vaccinated.
In a statement via the twins’ agent, the family said: “Surrounded by the love of his family and friends, Grichka Bogdanoff died peacefully, on December 28, 2021, to return to the stars.”
His lawyer, Edouard de Lamaze, told BFMTV that his client had died of Covid-19 after having been hospitalised in intensive care in Paris, confirming reports in Le Monde newspaper. He said that Igor was also in hospital for the same reasons.
Mr de Lamaze said: “I do not think that we can take Grichka as a flag bearer for either vaccination or not.”
Little is known about the distinctive and somewhat mysterious brothers’ personal or early lives, but it is known they were born in Gers in August 1949.
They became known in France in the 1980s for their TF1 science fiction TV show Temps X, which included a range of interviews within a spaceship-like setting.
Since then, they have taken part in TV presenting and panel appearances on a number of TV and radio shows, including Fort Boyard on France 2, and Grosses têtes on RTL. They also appeared in Touche pas à mon Poste on C8 in 2017, and as participants in Mask Singer in 2020.
Despite their changing faces and eccentric appearance, they repeatedly denied having had plastic surgery or even the hormonal growth disorder acromegaly, which can cause enlarged facial features.
Controversy and court
They also authored a number of controversial “scientific” books including Three Minutes to Understand the Big Bang in 2014. In 2003, their scientific work was highly criticised by France’s research unit the CNRS, and they were accused of plagiarising the American astrophysicist Trinh Xuan Thuan.
They have also faced a number of legal problems surrounding further TV plans, and had been set to face trial for alleged financial fraud on January 20, 21, and 27.
Their last public appearance was on November 20 at the Salle Gaveau in Paris, where they chaired a debate as part of a launch of a new book, Dieu, La Science, Les Preuves, by Michel-Yves Bolloré and Olivier Bonnassies.
TV presenter Cyril Hanouna, who regularly had the twins on his show, reacted to Grichka’s death on Twitter, writing: “I have just learned of Grichka’s death, and I am really very upset.”
Journalist Eric Naulleau wrote: “I am saddened by the death of my friend Grichka Bogdanoff. All my best wishes are with [his brother] Igor.”