On New Year's Eve 1967, French TV broadcast a special colour programme devoted to B.B. - 'Le Bardot Show'. Years before its time, it effectively consisted of a collection of video-clips, which made an incredible impression on the French public. Of the dozen songs she sang, nearly half were specially commissioned. At the time of Bradot's television special she and Serge Gainsbourg, the notorious French singer, were lovers and he wrote many songs especially for her.
Bardot was signed by Gainsbourg's record company, Philips, in 1962, and she had already released two singles that her labelmate had written before they were both booked to appear on Sacha Distel's primetime Saturday night TV show. It was 1967, two months after the so-called Summer of Love, and Gainsbourg fell for BB mightily. She was, Distel said, "the dream of Serge's life".
Bardot invited Gainsbourg to appear on her Le Bardot Show, and what started as a working relationship soon developed into a love affair. It was a discreet one to start with: unlike Gainsbourg, Bardot had a horror of press attention. Initially they met furtively at friends' apartments, but then threw caution to the wind and allowed the paparazzi to snap them at all the top nightspots or in Bardot's convertible Triumph Spitfire (with Bardot at the wheel as Gainsbourg couldn't drive), gliding through a Paris plastered with photos of BB in thigh-high boots and black leather mini-skirt straddling a motorbike - an advertisement for her latest Gainsbourg-penned single, Harley-Davidson.
On the Le Bardot Show, the stream of Gainsbourg classics inspired by his new love (or demanded by her producers) were performed by the pair in front of outlandish sets of the cod-psychedelic variety that you only ever saw on 1960s TV shows.
On the subject of the show, Bardot commented:
The process was very artistic. I didn't have a wardrobe assistant or a makeup assistant, or any of that. Everything that I am wearing in the songs is mine. I had wigs that Dessange gave to me, and I would go to my dressing room and grab whatever corresponded to the song: for Harley Davidson, they are my thigh-high boots, my vest and my blouse. In Everybody Loves My Baby, which I sing in English with a fringe dress, everything is mine- I even still have the cigarette-holder. For Comic Strip, they are my thigh-high boots, dancer's leotards, a little cape from Real, a black wig and some gold chains that still hang in my bathroom. There were no rules and I had fun with it. It was a joyful working environment and you can feel that.
The particular outfit in this photograph was inspired by Shirley Temple and was created for Bardot's song, Ce n'est pas vrai, which had words and music by Serge Gainsbourg.
A label attached to the reverse of the photograph states the following information:
29.12.67. 'Bardot Special' on Television on New Years Eve. Brigitte bardot on a motor cycle ('Harley Davidson'), Brigitte Bardot wearing a brown wig. Brigitte Bardot in Bonnie and Clyde style. That's how she will wish a 'Happy New Year' to Millions of French Television viewers in her 'Bardot Special' TV show on New Year's Eve. As Shirley Temple- Brigitte Bardot with ringlets, and a white satin mini-skirt with chain belt- for her 'Bardot Special on New Year's Eve.'
Keystone Press Agency
Le Bardot Show (Shirley Temple Sequence)
Vintage Gelatin Silver Print
25.3 x 20.6 cms (9.94 x 8.10 ins)
Stamped on reverse: KEYSTONE PRESS AGENCY
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