PARIS — An orange soft drink company is to become the first sponsor of French state-owned television, hosting a comedy show peppered with flimsily clad chorus girls and political parody, the TF-1 network has reported.
TF-1 president Herve Bourges said Orangina would sponsor 30% of "Cocoricocowboy," a prime-time show popular for its Coco girls and animal puppets in the likeness of France's leading political figures.
The sponsorship agreement between the network and the company will be the first in the history of French television. Advertising was allowed on the screen in 1968, but private sponsoring banned until last May.
The "Cocoricocowboy" puppets include a frog in the likeness of President Francois Mitterrand, a pig as Communist leader Georges Marchais and a bear as opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raymond Barre.
Socialist Prime Minister Laurent Fabius most recently joined the ranks of the famed handful of puppets as Fafa the Squirrel.