French TV personality Grichka Bogdanoff dies of Covid-19

French TV personality Grichka Bogdanoff has died at the age of 72, his family has said.

File photo of French TV personality Grichka Bogdanoff, who has died at the age of 72
Grichka Bogdanoff. Photo: Yann Coatsaliou / AFO

Grichka Bogdanoff died in hospital in Paris, aged 72, his agent confirmed on Tuesday, while twin brother Igor is being treated for the virus at the same hospital, according to reports.

The twins became famous as TV personalities and hearthrobs in the 1980s, but in later years were best known for their increasingly bizarre appearance as they underwent dozens of cosmetic surgery procedures.

READ ALSO The Bogdanoff twins: The story of France’s TV heart-throbs turned ‘freak shows’

The family’s lawyer later confirmed to Le Monde that Grichka died of Covid-19, and had not been vaccinated. He was hospitalised on December 15th.

“Surrounded by the love of his family and his family, Grichka Bogdanoff passed away peacefully on December 28, 2021 to join his stars,” his family said in a short statement.

The brothers, who have links to European royalty, presented the popular TF1 science programme Temps X, from 1979 to 1987, and went on to present or feature in a number of science and sci-fi programmes on French TV.

Their lives later descended into academic controversy and legal troubles. In 2001, the “Bogdanoff affair” alleged that the brothers wrote nonsensical advanced physics papers that were published in reputable scientific journals.

They have also had a number of brushes with the law.

In recent years, they had become popular figures in the cryptocurrency community and in 2020 appeared on TF1’s celebrity show Mask Singer.

They had been working towards what they hoped would be a return to French TV screens, but plans for a new science-based show on pay-TV broadcaster Canal+ had been put on indefinite hold.

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Reader Question: Can I get a third Covid booster shot in France?

As France launches its autumn vaccine campaign, almost half of those eligible for the second booster jab in France have already received it. This has left some wondering whether they could qualify for a third booster, using the new dual-strain vaccines.

Reader Question: Can I get a third Covid booster shot in France?

Question: I’m in my 70s and I had my second booster back in the summer but now I see that the new dual-strain vaccines are available – should I be getting an extra booster with the new type of vaccine?

French health authorities launched the autumn booster campaign on October 3rd includes newly authorised dual-strain vaccines – such as the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine adapted to BA.1, the Moderna vaccine adapted to BA.1, and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine adapted to BA.4/5 – which are designed to combat the Omicron variant.

It will be followed by the seasonal flu vaccination campaign in mid October.

READ MORE: When, where and how to get flu shots and Covid boosters this autumn in France

In France, about 6.3 million people have received a second booster dose, “or 41 percent of the eligible population,” said the Directorate General of Health (DGS) to Ouest France.

Currently only those in high risk groups are eligible for a second booster shot, including pregnant women, the elderly those with medical conditions or carers – find the full list here.

As almost half of the eligible population have already received a fourth vaccine, many are wondering whether they will be eligible for a fifth (or third booster) in order to access the new dual-strain vaccine.  

According to Virginie, a representative from HAS – France’s health authority – the organisation “no longer thinks in terms of doses for high-risk people and immunocompromised patients.”

Specifically, the HAS recommends that a new injection be given – and if possible one of the dual-strain vaccines – “regardless of the number of injections received up to now”.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: Who qualifies for a second Covid vaccine booster in France?

However, French health authorities specified that the additional booster should “respect the minimum recommended time between two doses.”

“This depends based on your profile – for people aged 80 and over, residents of nursing homes or long-term care units (USLD) and those who are immunocompromised, the wait-time is three months between jabs. For the others, the delay is set at six months.”

For those who have already been infected by Covid-19, the HAS recommends that if you are eligible for a second (or third booster) that the additional dose “is still recommended, with a minimum delay of three months after infection.”