Versailles star Alexander Vlahos reveals the President of France dropped in on the cast!

Alexander Vlahos has revealed the moment he and the rest of the cast and crew from BBC2 drama Versailles had a surprise visit from the President of France!

A co-production by French and Canadian broadcasters, Versailles tells the story of 17th century French King Louis XIV (played by George Blagden), who built the palace of Versailles and broke with tradition by relocating the Royal Court.

Merlin star Alexander, who plays the King Louis XIV’s brother Phillipe, said he and his co-stars were enjoying a special international press night at the Palace of Versailles itself, when President Hollande stopped by to say hello.

“It was a lovely French evening,” he explained. “We were having a cocktail party at Versailles, which was very surreal. George was outside having a chat with one of the producers and he saw these flashing lights coming up the long avenue that leads to the palace. This motorcade swung to a halt at the bottom of the steps and Monsieur Hollande got out.

“He walked up the steps and came straight up to George, shook his hand and said in French: ‘It’s nice at your house!’”

“He was at the party for about 45 minutes, but he worked the room like Madonna. He had a couple of minutes with everyone and knew everyone’s names and knew what they did, but when he was talking to you it was like there was no one else in the room. And then just like that, he was gone. It was pretty amazing.”

Ten-part series Versailles premieres on BBC2 on Wednesday, June 1

Sean Marland

Sean is a Senior Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week, who also writes for He's been covering the world of TV for over 15 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are I'm Alan Partridge, The Wire, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.