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Episode 2 of 2
In part one of 'La France, Maintenant!', Professor Andrew Hussey travelled through the south of France starting in Marseilles and ending in Lyon, discovering as he went some significant tensions, but also a new-found energy in the region born out of self-confidence and a restlessness with the clichés surrounding this most romanticised of countries. In this second part of the series, he heads to the very north of the country - to Lille - a place that looks out at Belgium, Britain and Holland as much as it looks back at France itself. He meets a local rapper who became one of France's earliest internet sensations, as well as local students producing Ch'ti magazine - Ch'ti being the French colloquialism for northerner. Once more he finds a region bursting with a strong sense of itself, no longer in the control of Hussey's final destination, Paris. There, he meets the producers behind the TV hit 'Spiral', who are keen to offer a true picture of the city to counter the Woody Allen counterfeit - as well as long-serving private investigators and the director of the Cannes Film Festival. At the end of the journey, Hussey makes the case that La France, maintenant, is a country that's facing troubles of course but is also once again bursting with creative energy and self-belief.