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RivieraLife.tv News Review 2010



2010 saw several cataclysmic weather events on the Cote d'Azur and New Year's Day saw the first of these:Video Killer waves on Riviera sweep beach walkers on New Year’s Day Deadly giant waves washed the shores of the French Riviera on New Year’s Day, killing at least three people.

Starting line Africa Eco Race 2010

Video  Monaco Rally Legend Schlesser wins in Dakar

For the second year running, Monaco rally legend Jean-Louis Schlesser won the Africa Eco Race 2010, a raid rally that crosses Morocco & Mauritania; destination Dakar in Senegal. Schlesser has also won two Paris-Dakar rallys in 1999 & 2000. The Africa Eco Race 2010 took place 29 Dec 09 - 10 Jan 10. RivieraLife.tv's Mark Dezzani was the international TV commentator for the rally and compiled a video report on this year's exciting event.

A French court ruled that a Russian Orthodox cathedral built on the French Riviera nearly a century ago under Czar Nicholas II now belongs to Moscow. Russia wins court case and gets Nice cathedral 

A French court rejected an appeal by the widow of the 10th Earl of Shaftesbury, who was convicted for plotting to murder the aristocrat in 2004, making her 20-year prison sentence final. Court rejects appeal from wife of murdered English aristocrat The earl's decomposing body was found in April 2005 on a patch of wasteland on the French Riviera, five months after he disappeared from his home in Cannes.

Finland's two-time world rally championship runner-up Mikko Hirvonen won the Monte Carlo Rally after leading from start to finish Polished finish sees Hirvonen to Monte Carlo Rally victory

The Black Eyed Peas were the victims of a blunder at France's top music awards, where they were mistakenly named best international group. Black Eyed Peas denied NRJ award win The stars were originally declared winners at the NRJ Awards in Cannes, but there were boos when it was later revealed that an error had been made. German band Tokio Hotel were the real victors.

The gloomy economic climate forced the Conseil Générale of the Alpes-Maritimes to implement spending cuts of €61 million. Alpes-Maritimes to cut budget by €61 million  The housing crisis caused a dramatic €100 million downturn in transfer taxes, more than half the revenue of the Conseil Générale.

Around two hundred supporters of French First Division strugglers Nice clashed with police after they invaded the pitch and tried to confront rival fans from Monaco. Nice supporters clash with police  The pitch invasion followed their side's 3-2 defeat in the Riviera derby which left them fifth from bottom.

Liz Morgan

Video  Actors Abroad Knees-up at Antibea Theatre

29/30 Jan 10: The International Club of the Riviera with the Actors Abroad Company presented the Old Time Music Hall. Directed by Liz Morgan it is 'an extraordinary extravaganza with artistes brought at great expense' to the Antibea Theatre. Sponsored by Events by George, this nostalgia fest starred Liz Morgan, Johnny Dennis, Peter Reeves, Helen Patrick, Frank Kovacs, Samantha Z and maestro Stuart Barham. Watch our video report on this truly magniloquent musical.


Carla Bruni's surprise withdrawal from Italy's San Remo music contest was blamed on a song in the competition that mocked her husband, the French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Bruni quits San Remo contest over song insulting Sarkozy

The Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal agreed to release Gérard Spinelli, the rightist mayor of Beausoleil, on a bail of €100,000. Mayor of Beausoleil released on bail  Spinelli remained under investigation for "influence peddling and bribery" for alleged misuse of funds related to the 170m high Odeon Tower project currently under construction in Monaco.

Police on the French Riviera hunted for the killer of 65-year-old Carol Hagues who was knifed to death in her flat near Nice. Police scour French Riviera for killer of Carol Hagues  Police initially detained her young boyfriend, who reported finding her in a pool of blood, but he was released after questioning.

Intrepid reporter Mark Dezzani ventures onto the terrace during the snowstorm!

Video  Riviera snow storm wreaks havoc

Snow chaos seized the Cote d'Azur Thursday 11th Feb 10 as up to 20cm covered the region. The A8 motorway shut down, cars abandoned, 111 flights were cancelled at Nice Airport and the Cannes-Grasse rail link and penetrante road were shut down. The snowfall subsided Thursday night & the A8 motorway reopened. Intrepid RivieraLife.tv reporter Mark Dezzani ventured out onto the terrace to see what all the fuss was about!

21 years old, Tony Ramoin, the Cannes born freestyle snowboarder from Isola 2000 won a Winter Olympics bronze medal in the Snowboardcross discipline. Isola 2000 Snowboarder Tony Ramoin wins Olympic bronze  He is the first competitor from the region to win a medal at the Winter Olympics.

Lawrence Dallaglio

Video  Dallaglio's Cycle Slam peddles the Riviera

To raise funds for his foundation's charities and for BBC TV's Sport Relief 2010 Lawrence Dallaglio, captain of England's World Cup winning Rugby team in 2003, organised the Dallaglio Cycle Slam. 30 cyclists travelled through all of the countries in Rugby's Six Nations Tournament. The charity cycle adventure started in Rome and ended in Edinburgh. Feb 18th 2010, the cyclists passed through the Cote d'Azur. RivieraLife.tv reporter David Rowe caught up with them.

MARCH 2010

The moment a killer wave hit a cruise ship and swept two people to their deaths, was caught on camera. Video ‘Tsunami’ kills two off Marseilles  Two holidaymakers - a German and an Italian - were killed as at least three walls of water 30ft high crashed over the liner Louis Majesty. The ship was sailing from the Spanish city of Barcelona to Genoa in Italy with 1,350 passengers and crew when it was battered in the Med off the French Riviera.

Baldos II - Sweden's most fuel efficient car

Video  Alternative energy cars at CleanEquity Monaco 2010

04-05 March 2010: After the failure of the Copenhagen Summit to reach a definitive diplomatic agreement on cutting CO2 emissions, CleanEquity Monaco 2010 proposed a market based solution by putting cleantech entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and environmental lobbyists together in the Principality's Sporting d'Hiver venue. In the ultimate Dragon's Den, with the future of the planet at stake, green dreamers were confronted with the reality of the market-place. RivieraLife.tv's Andrew Burroughs reports on the search for investment in the future of the planet.

Robert de Niro expressed his gratitude to the Matisse Museum and the city of Nice as the museum exhibited the work of Robert de Niro Sr. who died in 1993. Robert De Niro inaugurates exhibition of his father's paintings in Nice

France's Socialist Party triumphed over the ruling right-wing UMP party in regional elections. Video Socialists triumph while National Front makes headway   The far-right National Front made significant headway while the centrist MoDem party suffered a spectacular defeat.

APRIL 2010

Famous for his animals in formaldehyde, the British artist Damien Hirst presented ‘Cornucopia’ a retrospective of his work from the past 15 years at Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum as part of it's centenary anniversary year. A Cornucopia of Damien Hirst's work at Monaco's Oceanographic Museum  His works evoke his favourite themes, including fear of nothingness.

Former Minister of State of the Principality of Monaco, Jean-Paul Proust, died in Marseille following a disease he fought for several months. Ex Monaco Secretary of State Proust dies  Proust had resigned on 26 Mar 10, after a term of five years during which he saw in the first years of the reign of Prince Albert II.

Top Marques Monaco 2010

Video  Big buck & bling motors at Top Marques

The 7th edition of Top Marques Monaco took place at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco 15-18 Apr 10. It is the world's only live supercar show, described as a showcase for the haute couture of the motor industry. RivieraLife.tv correspondent Andrew Burroughs reports on this years show featuring the worlds most expensive car; the most powerful car at the show; an electric supercar; a no frills sports car from Nahr; the worlds most expensive golf cart and a bling bling motor that would even startle the makers of MTV's 'Pimp My Ride'!

A breathtaking performance from Rafael Nadal saw him brush aside Fernando Verdasco in the all-Spanish final at the Monte Carlo Masters. Rafael Nadal sweeps aside Fernando Verdasco in Monte Carlo final  Nadal was in dominating form as he dispatched Verdasco 6-0 6-1 in one hour 25 minutes to win his sixth consecutive title. Roger Federer did not take part in the tournament to focus on Estoril.

Five months after the death of Prince Giorgio I, and after an often heated election campaign, Marcello Menegatto (31) is elected the new Prince of the Ancient Principality of Seborga. Seborga elects Prince Marcello the First  A real estate developer and Swiss resident, he has lived in Seborga for the last 3 years.

Nice Côte d'Azur Rugby Club radically changed its structure to improve it’s chances of promotion to Pro D2, following the resignation of former chairman John Hall. Paul White new Chairman of Nice Côte d'Azur Rugby Club Principal shareholder Paul White, English businessman and Monaco resident replaced Hall. General manager Anthony Hill, after two years of activity with the club, resigned with immediate effect.

Video  Art Monaco 2010, Grimaldi Forum 29 Apr - 02 May 10

The first Art Monaco exposition took place in the Diahilev Hall of the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco 29th April - 2nd May 2010. 100 galleries from around the world exhibited. RivieraLife.tv correspondent Kerry MacGregor reports and interviews Tanya Baxter of London's Kings Road Gallery, Monaco based Canadian sculptor Blake and Art Monaco President Johnessco Rodriguez.

MAY 2010

Freak waves battered the southern French coast between Cannes and Nice causing major damage to beach constructions only a few days before the Cannes film festival was set to begin. Video Freak waves smash French Riviera  Ten-metre-high waves battered the coastline, leaving one woman with a fractured leg and causing major material damage.

Cannes Film Festival red carpet

63rd Cannes Film Festival 2010

The jury was headed by Tim Burton. The festival was opened by Ridley Scott's latest epic Robin Hood. The festival was preceeded by two mishaps. The world's press threatened to boycott the event over restricted access to the press conferences, and a massive storm saw many beach restaurants and the Croisette badly damaged. Jean Luc Godard, Woody Allen and Oliver Stone premiered anticipated movies. Critics were divided over the winning movie  by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

A couple of days before the Monaco Grand Prix, Mark Webber decided to escape the lunacy of the principality for a trip to Vence. Inspired Webber creates a big impression in Monaco  Wherever it was that provided the inspiration, Webber was unstoppable in Monaco.

An Africa-France summit opened in Nice after organisers drew up a guest list that left some disgraced leaders out in the cold while still inviting a few junta chiefs to the party. Africa-France summit guest list in Nice causes headaches  President Nicolas Sarkozy played host to 38 African leaders in the Riviera city for a 24-hour gathering that was billed as a "summit of renewal" to revamp France's ties on the continent.

JUNE 2010

Inbetween panel discussions at the France-Africa Summit, President Nicolas Sarkozy inaugurated a thirty metres high monument by sculptor Bernar Venet. President Sarkozy and  Mayor Estrosi unveil Nice 150 monument  The sculpture marks the 150th anniversary of linking the capital of the Riviera with France.

Founded in 1961, the 50th Monte Carlo TV Festival took place at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco 06-10 June 10.  50 Years of the Monte Carlo TV Festival  The MCTVF always attracts a relatively large number of TV industry heavyweights, partly because of the prestige of being nominated for, and/or winning a Golden Nymph.

Flash flood in Draguignan - Pic: Sebastien Nogier / Reuters

Video  Flash Flood Catastrophe in the Var

On Wednesday 16th June 2010, the region around Draguignan in the Var was submerged by a 2 metre wave of flood water following record rainfall of 14 inches of rain in a just a few hours. At least 25 were killed in this natural tragedy and many homes and businesses destoyed. We have collected global news reports and videos about the disaster, and RivieraLife.tv correspondent David Rowe has compiled a video of the aftermath.

A popular beauty spot on the French Riviera was closed to the public so that Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni could sunbathe in private. Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni ban locals from popular French Riviera beauty spot  Beaches and a coastal path in the Lavandou area all fell into the new 'secure zone’ guarded by at least three policemen and monitored by security cameras.

Prince Albert II of Monaco, long one of Europe's most eligible bachelors, finally announced his much anticipated engagement to South African champion swimmer Charlene Wittstock. Prince Albert of Monaco to marry S.African swimmer  A brief statement from the palace in the 52-year-old's tiny Mediterranean statelet confirmed the engagement, but did not put a date on the eventual wedding, which courtiers will be hoping might produce a legitimate heir.


Olympic rings trumped wedding rings when Prince Albert II of Monaco brought forward his nuptials to accommodate the International Olympic Committee. New date for Monaco royal wedding  Prince Albert announced plans to marry South African swimming champ Charlene Wittstock (32) on July 8 next year, a date which, it now turns out, would clash with the IOC's July 5 to 9 meeting in Durban. Albert decided to get married a week early on July 2, 2011 so as not to miss the meeting.

Protesting the re-opening of the limestone quarry in Lorgues

Video  Local residents fight quarry plans in Lorgues

Almost two months ago Lorgues resident Sally Perigo discovered that an old limestone quarry, literally on her doorstep was to be reactivated and started investigating. Local residents, have been fighting a campaign to get the project cancelled. 22nd July they demonstrated with a peaceful march up the small country chemin, which the quarry company propose to use for 20 ton lorries. David Rowe and Anita Rieu-Sicart, Editor of the Var Village Voice reports for RivieraLife.tv.

Two nuns in their 80s from Roquebrune-Cap-Martin sought refuge in Menton after refusing to obey their superior who asked them to join a home for elderly sisters in the Ardèche. Riviera nuns on the run in Menton   Sister Saint-Denis, 81, and sister Marie Daniele, 86, disappeared from the villa de l’eau July 12 before members of the congregation arrived to help them pack.


Sherman Oaks financial advisor Bruce Fred Friedman, who fled the country while under investigation for allegedly defrauding investors of hundreds of millions of dollars was arrested in Cannes. Fraud suspect Friedman arrested in Cannes Friedman, 60, ran a $228-million Ponzi scheme in which he promised to invest in rental properties but instead diverted millions of dollars to himself, family and friends.

A bitter feud between Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi and his arch-rival Gianfranco Fini hit new depths when a newspaper run by Berlusconi's brother published articles accusing Fini of improper dealings over an apartment in Monaco bequeathed by a supporter of his former party, the right wing National Alliance. Monaco flat features in Berlusconi, Fini feud  Fini denied accusations that the flat, which was left as a gift to the National Alliance in 1999, was sold at below its true value to an offshore company that was a front for the younger brother of his partner, Elisabetta Tulliani.

Video  20th Monaco Yacht Show 22-25 Sep 10

The 20th Monaco Yacht Show took place in Port Hercule, Monaco 22-25 Sep 10. Amidst a rising tide of optimism in the super-yacht industry, hundreds of the world's most prestigious super-yachts for sale and charter participated in the biggest event yet. In our video, RivieraLife.tv's Andrew Burroughs takes a look at one of the trendiest new yachts in the show, interviews a yacht owner and takes a trip below the surface in a mini-submarine.

A new luxury train began running between Moscow and Nice in the south of France, in a flashback to the tsarist times when Russian aristocrats flocked to the French Riviera. Russia launches new train from Moscow to French Riviera  The fares range from €306 to €1,200 euros for a luxury compartment with a shower and mini-bar.

France reported a first case of dengue fever infection on its mainland in the southern city of Nice, and is trying to kill mosquitoes which might be carrying the deadly disease in the area. France sees first dengue infection in Nice  The health ministry said it could not exclude an epidemic, and authorities asked residents to take measures such as using mosquito nets and removing places where mosquito larvae can grow.

British Prime Minister David Cameron's father died after falling ill during a holiday in the south of France. U.K. prime minister’s father dies in South of France  Conservative leader Cameron flew to his 77-year-old father Ian's hospital bedside after the former stockbroker suffered a stroke and heart problems. Cameron's parents were halfway through a holiday in France when his father suddenly fell ill.


Since the days he slept rough on the French Riviera, as a young man struggling to make it as a painter, Robert Redford has come a long way. The actor-director turned founder of the Sundance television channel was in the Riviera city of Cannes at MIPCOM to promote the international ambitions of the network. Redford recalls penniless painter days on Riviera  Redford spent a year in France when he was 18, and the first time he visited the Mediterranean resort he slept under the pier opposite the Carlton Hotel.

Robert Redford at MIPCOM Cannes Oct 10

Video  The stars come out for MIPCOM Cannes 2010

MIPCOM took place in Cannes 4-8 Oct 10. Buyers and sellers of video content from around the world gathered to trade TV content, and more and more content for Internet based TV. To support programme sales stars from many of the programmes attended including Mad Men's Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss, Robert Redford, Oliver Stone, Sarah Jessica Parker, Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas, David Walliams and many more.

The number of protesters against pension reforms reached 3.5 million in all of France. In the Alpes-Maritimes, high school students protested in Valbonne, Menton, Antibes, Grasse, Cannes and Nice. Between 5,000 and 15,000 protesters in Nice  Two marches took place, one from Cap 3000 and another from the CADAM administrative centre in west Nice. They converged near the airport, blocking its access. The march then went into the heart of Nice, Place Massena via the Promenade des Anglais, without incident.

Sources revealed to RivieraLife.tv that Monaco is to make official its first Masonic Lodge. Masonry becomes official in Monaco  Up until  two years ago Freemasonry in Monaco existed under the constitutions of other countries. For close on two years the Palace of Monaco have been seeking to regularise Masonry. After lengthy discussions with French Masonry collapsed, subsequent discussions with UGLE (United Grand Lodge of England) took place and were successfully concluded.

John Dalton Founder of Arogya Agam Project in Tamil Nadu

Video  Showtime! 'A Taste of Broadway' benefits children

Sunday 31 Oct 10 saw the first gathering of the Autumn/Winter 2010/11 season for the International Club of the Riviera. The theme was Showtime! A Taste of Broadway with musical performances from Colette Marx-Nielsen and Cisco Kid. Funds from the raffle benefited the Arogya Agam charity that cares for Dalit (so called Untouchables) and HIV positive children in Tamil Nadu, Southern India. The charity founder John Dalton was there and spoke to RivieraLife.tv about his life mission.


 A 71-year-old retired electrician is in a legal battle after coming forward with more than 200 hitherto unknown paintings by Pablo Picasso. Experts who examined the collection estimated it could be worth €60 million. Court battle looms as hundreds of Picassos turn up Pierre Le Guennec wrote to Claude Picasso, the artist's son, in a bid to get the canvases authenticated. Police officers seized the works from the couple's home on the Cote d'Azur.

Chinese President Hu Jintao

Video  China Presidet Hu Jintao visits Nice

Gridlock in Nice, 15km jams on the A8 motorway and protests were some of the results of China President Hu Jintao's visit to Nice Fri 05 & Sat 06 Nov 10. Accompanied on his state visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, there were business and political benefits. After years of diplomatic awkwardness between China & France for the latter's stand on human rights, is this an issue too far in these days of economic uncertainty?

The Grasse court has sentenced Vladimir Prokofieff, 65, former Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church in Cannes to a six month suspended sentence for embezzeling €405,000 in donations in 2006. Scam: Former Cannes bishop condemned  Prokofieff argued that the donations, which were to be used to refurbish the church, were in transit in his personal bank account and that he was looking after the money and not appropriating it.

Prince Albert II opens the Monaco Media Forum 2010

Video  The media mobilises at the 2010 Monaco Media Forum

The 5th annual Monaco Media Forum took place at the Grimaldi Forum 10-12 Nov 10. The overarching theme of the event was the 'mobilization' of digital media. There was a remarkable line-up of media executives, financiers and international journalists. The invitation-only event accommodates just 300 attendees and was hosted by Prince Albert of Monaco, who is deeply interested in digital media.

The Pope is expected to visit Monaco in 2012. In a letter to the archbishop of Monaco, the Holy See responded to an invitation made by the Prince's Palace and the Archbishop of Monaco, Monsignor Bernard Barsi. Pope expected to visit Monaco in 2012  In Monaco, where Catholicism is the state religion, some even fancifully imagined that Pope Benedict could marry Prince Albert II and Charlene Wittstock in July.

Monaco's future princess, South African Charlene Wittstock, made her first official appearance as royal fiancee, waving to crowds from the balcony of her prince's palace. Monaco princess-to-be makes first ceremonial appearance   Former Olympic swimmer Wittstock, 32, appeared smiling and waving in a beige Armani suit and brown hat for the annual royal appearance on the principality's national day.

Robbers opened fire on a police car after holding up a luxury jeweller at the Cap 3000 shopping mall in Saint-Laurent-du-Var. Spectacular Jewellery heist in Saint-Laurent-du-Var  The robbers opened fire on a police car that tried to intercept them, firing a dozen times with an automatic pistol, before disappearing.

Three occupants of a small plane were killed when it crashed near Tourrettes-sur-Loup. Three dead in Tourrettes sur Loup plane crash  The aircraft, a single engine type PA-28, crashed after hitting a tree on a steep uninhabited area covered with brush.

France will host the next G20 summit of the world's leading economic powers on November 3 and 4 2011 in the Riviera resort of Cannes  French G20 summit to be in Cannes November 2011  President Nicolas Sarkozy formally took on the G20's rotating presidency on Friday at the end of the G20 summit in Seoul, and France will hold it for the next year as leaders struggle to reform the global monetary system.

More than 11,500 athletes started the 3rd Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais  More than 11,500 in 3rd Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes  The Ethiopian Tsegaye Boturu finished the 42.195-kilometer course first in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 26 seconds.

Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi was replaced by Eric Besson as Minister of Industry & Energy in a government shake-up. Nice Mayor Estrosi loses ministerial post in government shake-up  Estrosi had been appointed Industry Minister 23 Jun 09. He was previously a minister responsible for France's overseas territories 19 Jun 07 but resigned 17 Mar 08 to focus on his responsibilities as Nice Mayor.


Rutty & Lichtenstein in their Robinson R22 helicopter

Three Air Disasters in one month in Alpes Maritimes

The death of two British champion helicopter pilots, when their Robinson 22 helicopter crashed near Tourrettes-sur-Loup 09 Dec 10, was the third tragic light aircraft accident in the Alpes Maritimes region in one month. Earlier in the week, three died when their helicopter crashed in thick fog near Breil-sur-Roya 07 Dec 10. A few weeks earlier, three died when their light aircraft crashed, once again close to Tourrettes-sur-Loup on 11 Nov 10.

A8 partially reopened after truck accident In the accident that took place on a viaduct over La Trinité soon after midnight, one driver was killed, burnt in his vehicle. One of the two trucks was carrying propane.


Video  Angel Film Award 2010 Go All The Way Up in Monaco

The 8th annual Angel Film Awards took place 2nd-5th December 2010 in the Art Novo Theatre, Novotel, Monaco. The festival features non-violent movies. In this report for RivieraLife.tv, Andrew Burroughs looks at a selection of movies screened and talks to their directors including Sir David Jason OBE who directed the short movie 'All The Way Up', Mohy Quandour, Writer/Director of the Best Movie winner 'Cherkess', Kinshirou Ogino, Director of 'Asakusa Daydreams' and Paul Petersen, Director of 'Simon Sez'.

All of the news stories featured on RivieraLife.tv can be found in our News Archives. If you are looking for a particular story then use our site search on the header of our Home page.

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