If you’ve recently been to any Clippers home games then you’ve seen Francois "Frenchy" Nicolas in action. As an ln-arena host for the LA Clippers, reporter and producer, Frenchy has branded himself as the face for entertainment. He’s interviewed celebrities including Nick Cannon, Kevin Hart, Quavo, Common, Nas and many more.
“Since I was a child I always knew I wanted to work in entertainment in some shape or form. I originally wanted to be a lighting director, but that all changed after a class trip to the Jacob Javitz Center,” says Frenchy. “PIX11 (WB 11 at the time) was doing a live broadcast from the convention and I remember seeing the crowd and how everyone was so excited. That day I got to meet Kaity Tong (anchor) and she interviewed me, and that’s when I think the seed was planted.”
Frenchy started working towards his career in entertainment while attending Brooklyn College. While there, he interned at Hot 97 and had a part-time job working for the NY Knicks.
“I knew I had to keep myself around the action in order to make something happen,” says Frenchy.
After graduating, it wasn’t hard for Frenchy to transition into his career field since he was already working. He landed a job as a blogger for Dj Enuff's website ThatsEnuff.com.
“Not only was I writing, but I was also going out and doing interviews for the website. It was great practice for what was to come,” says Frenchy.
Some of the challenges Frenchy faced as a rising journalist was not receiving any responses whenever he had an idea to pitch.
“A big part of our job as journalist is constantly pitching new show ideas or stories, so when you get no response, it can definitely be discouraging, but you have to keep going.”
But the big question is: how did he get the opportunity to become a host for the LA Clippers?
“I was working at Madison Square Garden for the NY Knicks, NY Rangers (NHL) and NY Liberty (WNBA) in the summer,” says Frenchy. “After being there for six years and filling in as a back-up host for the NY Liberty, I got a job working for the Harlem Globetrotters and ended up going on a US/Canadian tour with them for five months. At the end, the Clippers reached out and I took a leap of faith, flew out to LA for the audition and killed it!”
This upcoming season will be his third year with the LA Clippers. In addition to In-arena hosting, Frenchy has also hosted the 2017 and 2018 All-Star Games.
“It was a dream come true. I used to watch the event on TV as a kid, so to now be that guy hosting in front of 19,000 people is amazing,” says Frenchy. “It’s the biggest night in sports and you feel the energy in the city leading up to the big event. Once you work for a team in the NBA as a host, the league picks who they want for the big game.”
Frenchy has also hosted the 2017-18 NCAA Final Four for CBS Sports Network as well as the Army/Navy Football game in Philadelphia. In addition, he’s an LA Red Carpet Correspondent for Hot 97 radio where he gets the scoop at the VMA’s, AMAS and more.
“I never stop working,” says Frenchy. “I look at one of my media heroes, Steve Harvey, who currently host four TV shows and has a radio show. If he’s doing all of this at 61, then I really need to step my game up!”
Apart from being the face of entertainment, Frenchy is currently producing a show for All Def Digital called "FOH" which focuses on issues that affect today’s youth and being a voice of reason. He’s also producing a new show called "Behind the Dream" that’s coming out this summer.
To conclude the interview, Frenchy shared some words of advice for aspiring journalist and media personalities.
“Figure out why you really want to do this. Being around celebrities and taking pictures on carpets is cool, but everyday isn't that and it takes time to get there,” says Frenchy. “Also do your research and read things that you wouldn't likely read or listen to expand your mind. It'll make you a better-rounded journalist.”