The French domestic series Intervilles entered its
third year in 1964. The structure of the series was tweaked slightly from that
of 1963, with six heats instead of eight, and just three quarter finals rather
than the expected four. These competitions produced three semi-finalists and
the 1963 Champions, Tarbes, were given a bye which allowed them to become the
fourth semi-finalist (without having been involved previously in the 1964
series). This was in compensation for the loss of a season-ending Super Final
as had been played in 1963 between Tarbes and 1962 Intervilles
While the programme remained a popular success with French
audiences, Intervilles 64 attracted more than its fair share of criticism in
the newspaper media. Guy Lux and his fellow hosts were attacked for the way in
which they presented the programmes and the occasional technical failures and
other shortcomings of the production during the run came in for heavy
criticism. One review, in the Gazette de Lausanne on Friday 25th September
1964, was particularly dismissive: "The final of Intervilles last night
between Royan and Compiègne fortunately brought this popular game show to an
end, albeit temporarily. The series presented nothing of interest outside of
its technical aspect and the formula and presentation have become very tired.
This final was won by Royan thanks to bald heads, beards, and the tamer of the
cows. We will not talk about it further until the next time." Fortunately,
professional critics such as these were pretty much alone in their aloof
damnation of the series, which was shortly to blossom into Interneige
and Jeux Sans Frontières.
The 1964 series was also notable for a sad and tragic event in
the life of presenter and creator, Guy Lux, who lost his daughter and
son-in-law in a car crash in early August. As a result, Guy Lux was not
present at Heat 6 and the first Quarter-Final was postponed by a week as a
mark of respect. All subsequent Intervilles programmes of the 1964
series were staged a week later than originally planned.
Finally, the winter series Interneige commenced this
year and not in 1965 as previously believed. In its debut season, however, it
was a French domestic competition and featured French teams only.