Karl Zéro is the pseudonym of Marc Tellenne who is a French writer, actor, and filmmaker. Zéro is also a political talk show host/personality of Le Vrai Journal who recorded albums of pop standards from the 1940s and 1950s.
Born on August 6, 1961, in Aix-les-Bains, Savoie, Karl Zéro along with Éric, Bruno and Marc founded the satirical comedy troupe Groupe d’Intervention culturelle Jalons at the end of the 70s. Jalons Anne-Laure, his wife, and Bruno’s wife, Virginie (Frigide Barjot) thereafter became a part of the Jalon.
Zéro’s first journal was a comic strip named, The Adventures of Edmond in Jalons magazine in the early 1980s. After this, he began working for publications like Métal Hurlant, Charlie Hebdo, Zoulou, and L’Écho des savanes, as an artist firstly and then as a storyteller. He then became a part of The Globe and Mail, in which his conversational skills were appreciated. For a few months, he hosted a humorous program on RFM with Antoine de Caunes and Albert Algoud named, Babebibou.
- Eye Color: Black
- Hair Color: Black
Family and ethnicity
Parents, Brothers and Sisters
Karl Zéro is the youngest son of Gui Tellenne, a civil servant and poet, and Annick Tellenne, an author and talk-show host.
He has three brothers: Éric, a writer, who writes under the name of Raoul Rabut, Bruno (alias Basile de Koch), and Olivier, a business manager.
Wife and Children
In 1975, Zéro met his future wife and mother of their three children, Anne-Laure Chaptel (current stage name: Daisy d’Errata) in the high school that they both attended together.
As a writer
Zero’s first publication was a comic strip titled Les Aventures d’Edmond in Jalons magazine in the early 1980s.
As a journalist
In 1981, he began working for the trend magazine ‘Actuel’ as a journalist specializing in celebrity interviews. He also joined the newly formed team of Radio Nova, alongside his future wife, Daisy d’Errata. He then joined Globe and Lui, where his interviewing skills were noticed.
As a director
Alain de Greef of Canal+ (French television channel) then offered him the production of Nulle part ailleurs (Nowhere Else) (1987-2001) with his previous collaborator Antoine de Caunes. Karl used video gags to bring political figures into his illustrations, which was often inspired by the current events.
In 1993, he proposed to add a television report parody named “Zerorama”, in which he used a mode of presentation and a tone inspired by newsreels of the Vichy regime under Philippe Pétain to satirize Édouard Balladur’s government and the media that support him. Le Monde
As an animator
From September 1996 to June 2006, he was the host of Le Vrai Journal on Canal +, a television news program with the intention of “saying out loud” what other French television news programs were “hiding”.
In 2006-07, he hosted on AOL Le Club du Net, a weekly review of interviews concerning the French presidential election campaign produced by Power Podcast, and in mid-March 2007, JT2Zero, a daily online newscast demand on the campaign produced by Havas Media.
Since September 2007, Karl Zéro has been hosting a program on 13th Street entitled “Les Faits Karl Zéro”, a program on unsolved crimes produced by Trois Œil, and which began in the spring of 2010 as 90-minute spin-offs in prime time.
Since September 2008, Karl Zéro has been broadcasted daily in prime time on BFM TV. He started with an interview show called Karl Zéro on BFM TV and inspired by CNN’s Larry King Live. It followed the 2008 release of Starko! season 1 (based on Nicolas Sarkozy’s first year as President of France). It went on to become Sarko Info, a television news parody in which he conducts an interview following a news commentary by Michel Guidoni playing the role of Sarkozy on September 7, 2009. L’avenir
- Grand Prix Chéries-Chéris [Nomination] (2013) for Me, Luka Magnotta (2013)
- In 1986, Karl Zéro was hired by Europe 1 to host their program Géant Gratuit with Doug Headline (son of Jean-Patrick Manchette). He was fired after four months. Zéro then returns to TF1 while Doug devoted himself to the cinema. On TF1, the program Pirates de Zéro with Jean-Yves Lafesse lasted only one episode in September 1987. Again, his sense of humor was deemed “inappropriate” and he was let go.
- Using the interpretation of the network without quoting them, he announced on June 3, 2003, that Patrice Alègre (through a letter he received from him) and two former prostitutes had accused certain personalities in Toulouse of being involved in a sadomasochistic gang which had committed sexual assaults, torture, and murder. It was later determined that one of the defendants was innocent. Additionally, it was revealed that Zero gave one of the prostitutes an advance of €15,000. In June 2006, he was terminated from his contract with Le Vrai Journal Liberation due to a possible breach of journalistic ethics, mentions of Zéro and Canal + in the publicity of the accusations, and resulting political pressure. Three years after the investigation began, in March of 2007, Judge Nathalie Turquey barred Karl Zéro from appearing in court, subject to future appeals. La Libre
- Karl Zéro is not a journalist and does not have a press card. On the show, Le Vrai Journal, he mixed classic reports, usually filmed by the CAPA agency, with sketches using video gags, in which his wife Daisy d’Errata frequently played a role.
- When he spoke to politicians, he tried to get them to accept the informal mode of speech. Over 10 seasons of Le Vrai Journal, its audience has remained stable at 10% market share, or 1.5 million viewers per week. He became the reference for politicians who wanted to reach young people.
- Also from September 2001 to June 2002, at the suggestion of Eric Guillaumond, he co-produced Le Journal des Bonnes Nouvelles Le Parisien with Michel Malaussena, also on Canal +. In March 2003, it was renamed Le contre-journal. La Dépêche
- Karl Zero’s blog, video, and forum site, Web 2 Zero, has hosted numerous videos of his fans, the “zeronauts,” and interviews including with 9/11 truth advocates, a post that interested him.
- Karl Zero has written a many books including, Balance Tout (2019), ‘La médium et l’enquêteur face aux grandes affaires criminelles’ (2021) with Geneviève Delpech, Etouffées (4 May 2016), Coupable ? Non coupable ? (4 May 2016), Disparues (2014) to name a few.