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Fort Boyard Original =LINK=

The construction of the fort was first considered during a build-up of the French armed forces undertaken by Louis XIV between 1661 and 1667.[citation needed] Fort Boyard was to form a line of fortification with Fort Enet and Fort de la Rade on Île-d'Aix to protect the arsenal of Rochefort from Royal Navy incursions.[2] With the limited range of artillery in the 17th century, there was an unprotected gap between the fields of fire of the fortifications on the islands of Aix and Oléron; a fort on Boyard bank, roughly midway between the two, would have filled that gap. In 1692 the French engineer Descombs began planning the programme of building the fort; however, once it became clear how expensive it would be the scheme was abandoned. Vauban, Louis XIV's leading military engineer, famously advised against it, saying "Your Majesty, it would be easier to seize the moon with your teeth than to attempt such an undertaking in such a place".[1]

Fort Boyard Original

After a British raid on Île-d'Aix in 1757, plans for a fort on Boyard bank were once again considered. Though plans were drawn up, it was abandoned again due to the logistical problems. Efforts were renewed under Napoleon Bonaparte in 1800, and the following year engineers Ferregeau and Armand Samuel de Marescot, and Vice-Admiral François Étienne de Rosily-Mesros designed a fort to be built on the bank. To facilitate the work, a port was established on île d'Oléron. The village of Boyardville was built for the workers. The first stage of construction was to establish a plateau, some 100 by 50 m (330 by 160 ft), to act as foundation. To this end, stones were piled up on the bank.[3]

The project was suspended in 1809. Construction resumed in 1837, under Louis-Philippe, following renewed tensions with the United Kingdom. The fortifications were completed in 1857, with sufficient room for a garrison of 250 men; however, by this time the range of cannons had significantly increased, covering the hitherto unprotected gap and making the fort unnecessary.

After 1871, Fort Boyard was briefly used as a military prison, and abandoned in 1913,[4] after which the unmaintained fort slowly deteriorated and crumbled into the sea. In 1950 it was made a listed building, and in 1961 was sold to Charente Maritime Regional Council.[5]

In 1989, the reconstruction of fort began in preparation for hosting the game show. An access platform for the berth of ships was built 25 meters from it (the old fort pier was destroyed long ago). The fort was completely cleared of a huge layer of guano (50 cm thick). In 1996, artillery platforms were also restored. However, the fort was still exposed to harmful influences from the sea. Therefore, in 1998, additional restoration work was carried out. The outer walls were completely cleaned and the sealing of the terrace completed. The final stage was the restoration of a central courtyard which was completed in early 2004.[6] It has been used as the location for the filming of both the French and international versions of the TV game show of the same name since 1990, and was also the location for filming The Last Adventure, starring Alain Delon, Lino Ventura and Joanna Shimkus.

Fort Boyard is a French game show created by Jacques Antoine that was first broadcast on 7 July 1990 (originally as Les Clés de Fort Boyard, however shortened to Fort Boyard from the second series in 1991). Foreign versions of the show, with varying success, have aired around the world since 1990.

Set and filmed on the real fortress of the same name on the west coast of France, the programme appears similar to British game show The Crystal Maze which was created as an alternative format by Antoine for Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, after the fortress was unavailable to film in because of its then ongoing refurbishment (during 1989). In both programmes the contestants have to complete challenges to win prize money. However, while The Crystal Maze varies the type of games quite considerably, Fort Boyard tends to focus mainly on physical and endurance challenges. Although Fort Boyard was something of a pioneer in the area of game show fear and adventure, later programmes such as Fear Factor have pushed things even further, requiring Fort Boyard to react and adapt with new twists and games, including a couple of seasons in which the contestants spent the night in the Fort (this was particularly popular in the French and Russian versions).

In 1980, Philippe de Dieuleveult [fr], a co-presenter of Antenne 2's La Chasse aux Trésors [fr] (the original, French version of Treasure Hunt), came close to drowning while trying to reach Fort Boyard in rough seas. He remained stuck for 3 hours before being rescued by helicopter. This episode inspired Jacques Antoine (creator of La Chasse aux Trésors) in the creation of the TV game show Fort Boyard.[1]

Whilst looking for a set, a production team visited Fort Boyard in April 1987[2] and this fortification, located between the Île-d'Aix and the île d'Oléron in the Pertuis d'Antioche strait, was bought in November 1988 for one and a half million francs.[2] The production company resold the fort to the department of Charente-Maritime for a symbolic franc, resulting in the local authority then having to take charge of all the refurbishment works, which took place from July 1989, and ensured the exclusive use of the site to Antoine's production company.[2] Because of the weather conditions, the construction of the sets for the show was done in two stages: between the start of the renovation and October 1989 then the following spring, and were completed shortly before the first day of filming on 30 June 1990.[2] The original French version, under the name Les Clés de Fort Boyard (English: The Keys of Fort Boyard), began airing on 7 July 1990 hosted by Patrice Laffont and originally Marie Talon, later Sophie Davant, on Antenne 2.

The first country to buy the game show Fort Boyard (then known as Les Clés de Fort Boyard) was the United Kingdom and broadcaster Channel 4. After discussions with the French producers, production company Chatsworth Television (at the time producers of Channel 4's Treasure Hunt and ITV's Interceptor, both also game shows created by Antoine) decided to devise a British version and began work on making a concept. According to host Richard O'Brien, the original outlined concept was "kind of like Dungeons and Dragons", with the presenter acting as "Dungeon Master".

There is also the resident Fort Boyard cast, who first appeared in the French version, and were subsequently featured in most of the other international formats, including the original UK versions, however these were all excluded for Fort Boyard: Ultimate Challenge:

Fort Boyard is a French game show first broadcast in 1990; however the fort is also used by television stations from other countries in order to produce their own (typically modified) versions, using part of the technical teams and characters of the original French show.

The fort has also been used for special private events in 2014, 2016 and 2019 by Russian visitors[27][28] and filmed non-televised shows featuring children for the French sponsor Prince de LU from 2011 to 2013,[29] with Anne-Gaëlle Riccio returning as host.[30] Further mini-episodes featuring Willy Rovelli's Chef character and eating challenge were filmed in June 2020 and premiered online on the children's on-demand platform Okoo of France Télévisions, and its website from October 14, 2020.[31] It was confirmed in July 2019 that an unnamed Russian billionaire of a large steel company had hired the Fort three times, firstly in 2014 for a team building session and most recently for his 50th birthday.[32]

Fort Boyard has aired on many networks around the world.[39] Some countries, such as Portugal, aired the original French version dubbed or with subtitles as opposed to producing their own.[40] Others include:

The year 2000 contains the most episodes filmed of any year (123 for eleven countries, including France). To date (excluding 2020), 2005 has the least (26), with just the French and Greek versions attending.[53] As of 2018, the overall number of episodes filmed is 1,782, of which 327 are of the original French version over 29 seasons. Sweden, is the foreign country which has produced the most episodes to date (222 over 19 seasons).

Fort Boyard's format varies from country to country, but the basics are the same. A team of friends enter the Fort with the intention of winning the gold. To do this, the contestants have to successfully complete a series of challenges set by a fort-master, who wishes to keep the gold to themselves.

Note: This is NOT the full list of games that have been played. The years below are for when the game was played or last present at the fort, in the French version or Ultimate Challenge (some games are present but not played every year). A full list of games can be found here.[55]

From 1991 to 2011, there were 71 different adventures.[56] This section details some of Fort Boyard's most famous games. The name of the game may change from country-country; but the game itself remains the same (like in Phase One, where possible, names from Ultimate Challenge will be used). The years below are for when the game was played or last present at the fort, in the French version or Ultimate Challenge.

Note: Some of these games are still in place on the fort, but have not been played recently in the French version and others. Most of these games are listed by their Ultimate Challenge names. Not all of the clue games played have been mentioned above.

As of 2020, COVID-19 had caused a few changes to the 2020 series of Fort Boyard. Some safety measures were in place to keep the candidates safe on the fortress which also changed the format of the series. 041b061a72

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