A gray car is parked in the small courtyard in front of the pretty red brick house typical of northern France. It is identified “61”, the Orne, which is not common in this department 80 (Somme). “Ah, she will not change registration, she is too attached to her region!”, Launches Hervé, farmer of season 16 of “Love is in the meadow”, with all the spontaneity and naturalness that we know him.
The vehicle belongs to Stéphanie, his companion whom he met during an intense speed-dating broadcast on M6 and who had come to spend the stay on the farm at his home with the other contender, Vanessa. “Vanessa was not nice to me, it never happened between us, she was too much in the competition”, confides the Norman of always. Hervé’s mother, Bernadette alias Bernaclette (for her legendary pan-fried raclette) immediately saw that she was too “fit”.
Every first time
Faced with Karine Le Marchand on Monday evening during the first part of the “balance sheet”, the two crabs explained that they always coo together, far from the cameras of M6 … and this for more than seven months now. The months of the first times for Hervé who has always been single: first life together, first gifts, first emotions, first reproaches … Already contacted ten years ago to be part of the show, Picard did not feel “ready”. Now he’s 100% invested in his relationship.
Rana and Paco, the two noisy mandarins
That afternoon in early November in Picardy, Hervé’s sweetheart opens the door for us. Inside the 35m2 house, the decoration is very … sober and rustic. In fact, the couple didn’t really care about it. “We have been living here since July. We don’t like this house. It’s a rental, it’s temporary. We can’t wait to leave and find a real home with a small garden ! ” Stéphane Plaza, appointed by Karine Le Marchand, is on the spot.
To fully live her love story after three years of celibacy, Stéphanie left Normandy with a fridge, a “companion” robot (“like that there are two now”, laughs Hervé), a microwave, a piece of furniture, a cupboard and above all … her two birds (cute but noisy), Rana and Paco, whom she bought to “do entertainment” when she lived alone in her big house. A female, a male … Mandarins always live in pairs. When one is alone, he lets himself die. Any comparison with Hervé and Stéphanie is not possible.
Cooking for him, cleaning for her
Hervé and Stéphanie have been in a relationship for more than seven months. Seven months during which they “went into hiding”. Very few outings together, nor in the open air, even less in the supermarket or in the restaurant. “The other day, I was outright touched on the arm. I’m afraid that our future outings as a couple create a crowd, I don’t like that”, fears Stéphanie, who likes the peace and quiet. The short-haired blonde quickly found a job as a caregiver in this very rural area.
At home, we divide up the tasks easily. “I like to cook: potatoes, raclettes in the pan like mom, vegetables … You have to eat balanced. Cleaning is more like Stéphanie. I am at school when I do laundry!”, says Hervé, who grew up with two sisters and who is therefore not “dumped” in front of women. A little manic, Hervé? “When I do the dishes, the knives and forks are lined up”. “For a woman, it’s fine, but I find that for a man it’s funny!”, Stéphanie is surprised.
Every Monday evening since the show aired, no kitchen: it’s pizza “to avoid being too late”. With hindsight, Hervé is not bad. “I am pretty good at my individual interviews. I found my Picard accent in my portrait, on the other hand not at all during life on the farm.” And to underline: “I could have been worse than that at the level of my head”.
“Relieved to tear up the pictures”
On the buffet in the living room, the photo taken “on the small bridge”, where their love story really began (with a greedy kiss), sits proudly. “This little bridge, located next to the farm, has become a sought-after place. For a while, on each bridge we crossed, we kissed each other,” Hervé narrates.
The farmer avoids taking too many photos with his sweetheart, he jokes. Because all M6 viewers remember this cult scene: Stéphanie tearing the photos of her ex under the astonished gaze of Hervé. “It really relieved me to do that. My ex lived in the same town as me. He annoyed me on the verge of harassment. I didn’t even dare to leave my house because I felt I was being watched,” continues the caregiver, very happy to have moved some 200 km away. The next morning, Hervé finished the job by tearing up the remaining parts.
Back on that first scorching night …
A few weeks ago, M6 broadcast the interviews of Hervé and Stéphanie, commenting on their first night of love. “I think I was good,” said the one who had never “practiced”. His darling went into more detail: “I thought it would be quick but in fact it was completely the opposite. At one point, I wanted to turn on the light. I couldn’t find the button. We were away from the wall. He said, ‘You didn’t hear it banging on the cupboard.’ Comments abounded on social networks.
“I was so happy I had to talk. The sound engineer outside was laughing, that’s when I realized I might have said too much,” we says Stéphanie, with hindsight. “I thought Stéphanie in the reserve, but when I saw her talking about our first night, I told myself that in fact not at all!”, Adds Hervé. “We’re hooked up ass! I wasn’t hooked up the ass before but now I’m making dirty jokes!” (laughs)
Every Monday evening, in front of their television screens, Hervé and Stéphanie are “laughing to death”, like the millions of viewers of M6.
“Life together is great”
Hervé still spends most of his time with his parents Bernadette and Simon, on the family farm. It can’t be said that they are intrusive in-laws … they’ve only been to their house once since the move. The Picard, who has repeated his CE1 three times but who excelled in agricultural studies, milks his cows for lunch and dinner, every day of the year. “If we don’t treat them, they explode!” “Me, I don’t like milking, I’ve never hidden it,” continues Stéphanie, who supported Hervé when he broke a few ribs a few months ago. Not during a scorching night session, but working on the farm.
Having gone from “nothing to everything”, Hervé (who has never experienced loneliness badly) is a happy man. Stéphanie is also happy. “Life together is great,” she says. “We complement each other well and we understand each other. Everyone has their own character too! I’m more of a tease too”, adds Hervé. “We don’t need to talk to understand each other.”
“Hervé is kind, takes care,” says Stéphanie, who nevertheless regrets not having received a bouquet of flowers from her dear and tender since … speed-dating. For her birthday, he gave her a “double heart chain”.
They think about the baby
Their projects? “Find a home, have a baby and get married,” says Stéphanie. A baby already? “The subject is there, we think about it, we let things happen”. “The child would be the icing on the cake, we must not wait. The age is here. I hope it works out.”
In the “Somme” department, we can count as follows: 1 + 1 = 3… “or maybe 4?”, Laughs Hervé again, who could be found next year in “L’Amour vu du pré” .
Stephanie’s brother had his first baby in September, is that a sign? For Bernadette, it would be a fourth grandchild that she could cherish.
“L’Amour est dans le pré”, season 16, every Monday at 9:05 pm, on M6. Last episode next Monday.