He gained fame working on Channel One and NTV. His most popular projects are “Russian Empire” and “The Other Day”.
The TV journalist has been working on television since 1986, and in 2004 quit NTV. As Leonid Parfyonov himself replies in an interview, he is no longer interested in work related to television channels.
In recent years, the journalist worked with Sergei Nurmamedov on the films “Jewish Happiness” and “Russian Jews” about famous personalities that caused a resonance and a not very positive assessment among former compatriots living in Israel. According to the author, the projects are international in nature. In addition, it is planned to create a film about Russian Germans.
What is he doing now
In January 2018, the YouTube channel “Parthenon” was launched, which is still popular today. In his own show, Leonid covers current topics and incidents, not only in Russia but also abroad. Producer Ilya Ovcharenko and second presenter Valentin Petukhov help him in the implementation of the channel.
Photo: Leonid Parfyonov
Where he lives and works
Now the former television journalist is working in Moscow, he has a lot of projects and ideas in his plans, and life today looks the most attractive for him. He also said that the rumor about his emigration to Israel is exaggerated.
Parfyonov and his family live in a three-story house in the suburbs.
TV presenter Elena Chekalova, Parfyonov’s wife, in one program told where they live with Leonid now and showed the whole house. If you are interested, you can watch this video:
Leonid Parfyonov is known as an opposition public figure, a star of modern television journalism and a fighter for people's rights. He is the author of documentaries about popular figures in culture, sports, politics and historical events of the 20th century.
Journalist Leonid Parfyonov
In 2018, one more was added to all these characteristics - the former TV presenter became a blogger on YouTube.
Childhood and youth
Parfenov Leonid Gennadievich was born in 1960 in the city of Cherepovets, the regional center of the Vologda region. After 6 years, his younger brother Vladimir was born there. The boys' father worked as an engineer at the factory, and my mother worked as a teacher. Parfyonov admitted that childhood in Cherepovets was, though well-off, but terribly boring. Father often took his son on a hunt, but besides this, Parfenov Jr. had little joy.
At school, the boy had no one to communicate with, because even at an early age Leonid became interested in literature and by the 7th grade he already had very decent intellectual baggage. In a small district center there simply wasn’t a teenager who could compete with Lenya in erudition. Nevertheless, Parfyonov studied poorly, he was not given the exact sciences.
Leonid Parfyonov in childhood
Already at the age of 13, Leonid wrote extensive and serious articles in regional newspapers. For one of them, the teenager received a luxurious award: a trip to the famous children's camp of the Soviet Union "Artek", where he met the same young enthusiasts. Even while in Crimea, Parfyonov continued to write in the local newspaper, expressing an interesting and distinctive position on the tasks of modern adolescents, while peers preferred to spend time in leisure and collective entertainment.
Parents gradually resigned to their son’s decision to become a journalist. But even it was difficult for them to believe that the ambitious Leonid would choose Zhdanov Leningrad State University. Parfenov himself did not doubt his own abilities at all and easily passed the entrance exams. Since then, a new life has begun for Leonid.
Leonid Parfyonov in his youth
The guy instantly joined the cultural life of Leningrad, radically changed his wardrobe and made many useful contacts. Having made friends with Bulgarian students, Parfyonov got the opportunity to rest outside the USSR annually and at first was shocked by the layer of culture that opened before his eyes.
Even more students were struck by the realization of how dense the information filter was, which did not allow anything “western” to the inhabitants of the Soviet Union. And these discoveries made Leonid Parfyonov doubt that he wants to live in the current state of affairs.
Coming to the profession
The formation of the journalist Parfyonov began from the moment he entered the Faculty of Journalism of one of the country's most prestigious universities, the Zhdanov Leningrad University, which Leonid successfully graduated in 1982.
After the institute, Leonid Parfyonov served in the ranks of the Soviet Army in Leningrad. There are people who come into the profession by accident, but it was a really right choice. As a journalist, he will try himself in a wide variety of publications, among them will be “Red Star”, “Pravda”, “Moscow News”, “Twinkle”, “Vologda Komsomolets”.
Parfyonov's adult life
The collapse of the USSR, the arrival of glasnost in the country, and the formation of the new Russian state became landmark in the work of a young, promising television personality. In 1990-1991, he became the author and presenter of the entertainment program “The Other Day”, but because of his razor-sharp words and conclusions, he was suspended from working in television in early 1991. But this fact not only did not cut Parfyonov’s wings, he would give him even more confidence in his abilities and show the way to creating a new documentary project “Portrait on the Background”, which was created during 1991-1993 and consisted of six films. Then he will work on the release of non-political news on the First Channel of Ostankino, and in 1994 he will start working on the NTV channel, with which he will have many good and not very events in life. In addition to special love and trepidation for television documentaries, Parfyonov also tried himself as the author of such popular New Year projects in the early 1990s as “Old Songs about the Essentials”.
While working on NTV from 1997 to 2001, Leonid Parfyonov will be the permanent host and author of the historical program “The Day Before. Our era. 1961-1991 ”, he will also own the idea of creating one of the most ambitious television projects of our time“ Russian Empire ”,“ Living Pushkin ”,“ Special View of Leonid Parfenov ”, he was also his permanent host. After leaving NTV in 2004, Parfyonov switched to work on Channel One, which acquired through him the author and host of the documentaries “Oh, the world - you are a sport!”, “Lyusya”, “And personally Leonid Ilyich”, “ Zvorykin-Muromets ”,“ Bird-Gogol ”,“ Ridge of Russia ”and many others. All of them became evidence of journalistic talent and a natural love for Parfenov’s analyst. Since 2012, he has been working on the Dozhd TV channel.
In 1982, after an internship in the GDR, the journalist Parfyonov left the walls of the alma mater and, by distribution, returned back to Cherepovets, where the young specialist was to work for the next 4 years. Gradually, Leonid’s articles began appearing in the capital’s publications, and the young man himself transferred from the newspaper to local television for a year and a half. It was an unprecedented success for a recent university graduate, all the more so since Leonid Parfyonov never studied the skills of a TV presenter and announcer.
Leonid Parfyonov at the beginning of his career
In 1986, Eduard Sagalaev, editor-in-chief for youth programs of the Central Television Center of the Soviet Union, invited Leonid to the capital as a special correspondent. Of course, Parfyonov could not refuse such a chance. For 2 years, the journalist worked in the TV show "World and Youth" and collaborated with several other programs on the Central Television.
And in 1988, the young man was invited to the television company ATV, which had just been created by Anatoly Malkin and Kira Proshutinsky. There Leonid Parfyonov met Igor Ugolnikov and Valdis Pelsh, Alexei Kortnev and others, who later became famous colleagues who changed the face of Soviet television at the turn of the decades.
Leonid Parfyonov, Igor Ugolnikov and Konstantin Ernst
A year later, the television journalist was entrusted with conducting the author’s information program “The Day before,” which later made Leonid known throughout the Soviet Union.
What format of the program, what the behavior of the presenter on the air was unexpectedly bold, even provocative. The realities of the new, late Soviet time required a different format, and Leonid managed to create a picture that the viewer liked. However, next year the TV presenter was suspended for too harsh remarks towards the resignation of a prominent politician Eduard Shevardnadze.
Leonid Parfyonov in the program "The other day"
The disgrace did not last long and, on the whole, passed almost imperceptibly to Leonid's career. In addition, after the collapse of the USSR, thanks to the freedom of speech that appeared, many newspapers, magazines, radio stations and television studios were formed. The talented journalist had plenty to choose from. In the same 1991, Parfyonov joined the VID television company, created by Vladislav Listyev.
In 1993, the TV presenter began cooperation with another newcomer among television companies - NTV. There, the journalist resurrected his beloved brainchild, the previously closed project “The Other Day”. 1994 ended for Parfenov with the first “TEFI” award in his professional biography for the program “NTV - New Year’s Television” coined by him.
Leonid Parfyonov at the TEFI Award
The following year, Leonid joined the Hero of the Day talk show, the format of which included a live interview with prominent Russian cultural and political figures. At the same time, Parfyonov, co-authored with Konstantin Ernst, invented the New Year’s show “Old Songs about the Essentials”, which quickly gained popularity among the spectators of the post-Soviet space. Parfyonov and Ernst subtly played on the audience’s desire to see something new and unusual, combining popular stars, the new musical format, new for Russian television broadcasting, and Soviet songs familiar to the target audience from childhood.
From 1997 to 1999, Leonid was on the board of directors of the channel, and was also the general producer. The television project “The Other Day” was transformed into a cycle of documentary-historical films. A total of 16 episodes were released as part of the Russian Empire project.
Journalist and TV host Leonid Parfyonov
The series covered the life of Russia from 1697 to 1917 and was dedicated to the rulers of the state from Peter the Great to Nicholas II. Films were released until mid-2004, while Parfyonov was not fired from NTV. Then the journalist began to collaborate with Channel One, for which he created documentaries.
Spectators and critics were delighted with the painting “Color of the Nation”, dedicated to the progenitor of color photographs and the publisher of the magazine for fans of this art form Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky. The film told not so much about a person as about what Russia lost from the beginning of the 20th century, from architectural monuments to spiritual values.
Leonid Parfyonov in the film "Bird Gogol"
On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the writer Nikolai Gogol, the TV presenter made the film “Bird Gogol”, which talks about the author of “Nose” and “The Examiner” as the avant-garde artist of his time. Fragments of the works were read by Oleg Tabakov, Zemfira, Evgeny Mironov.
The heroes of Leonid's documentary stories were Galina Volchek and Lyudmila Zykina, Oleg Efremov and Mikhail Gorbachev, Gennady Khazanov and Vladimir Nabokov. "Z00 Years of the New Year" is dedicated to the history of the holiday in Russia. "Gambit. At the scene ”served as a kind of preface to the film based on the book of Boris Akunin, the director and author of the novel walked the battlefields of the Russian-Turkish war.
Leonid Parfyonov on the set of the film "The Ridge of Russia"
"Ridge of Russia" - a story about the Ural region, shot in the format of a road movie in collaboration with the writer Alexander Ivanov. This is the author of the novels “Geographer drank the globe”, “Dormitory-on-blood”, “Heart of Parma”, which have already been shot and in the near future new art tapes will appear.
Since then, Leonid has managed to release several book albums, work as the editor-in-chief of a news magazine, star in the video for the song "Rap Prayer for the Faith" and begin close cooperation with the Rain news channel. Here, the man became the co-host of the Parfyonov and Pozner program, then the Parfyonov television magazine, both projects lasted less than a year.
Leonid Parfyonov in the program "Parfyonov and Pozner"
For dedicated work in the field of television broadcasting, Leonid Gennadevich in 2010 received the Vlad Listyev Prize, which he managed to work with in the 90s.
Leonid Parfyonov has been repeatedly awarded with awards by both colleagues and a grateful audience. There is hardly any other journalist who has received the TEFI award 4 times in 15 years.
Leonid Parfyonov with a prize named after Vlad Listyev
In January 2016, Parfyonov joined the Open University educational project, for which he prepared a lesson on elite responsibility and the new media language.
In the spring of 2016, the first film of Parfyonov’s new documentary project “Russian Jews” was announced. The trilogy deals with the influence of Russian-speaking Jews on the history of the whole world. The first series of the project covered 1918-1948. The specific theme of the film immediately raised the question of the nationality of the journalist. The author did not comment on the interest in his roots and calls himself a Russian journalist.
Trailer of the film Leonid Parfenov "Russian Jews"
The man said that the project about the Jews is only the beginning, later it is planned to make films about Russian Germans and Georgians, nations that, along with the Jews, according to Leonid's theory, became the main ones, mixed with the Russian people.
In 2017, the presenter presented the film “Russian Jews. 1918-1948 ”in Riga. Soon, the RTVI channel (formerly NTV-International) introduced a new entertainment program, “The Last Day at Karaoke”. Parfyonov and guests of the studio recalled and sang hits of past years.
Leading TV show "The Last Day at Karaoke" Leonid Parfyonov
Now Parfenov is not visible on any TV channel. As the journalist himself admitted in an interview, he is not officially employed anywhere, but he works as much in the form of self-employment as he did in television studios. In addition, the presenter was one of the advisers to the President of the Russian Federation in the field of ensuring the rights and freedoms of citizens.
Work is not only television
From 2004 to 2007, Leonid Parfyonov was the editor-in-chief of the Russian Newsweek magazine, and at the end of 2007 he began work on his long-term project - writing the album-book “The Day Before. Our era ”, which at that time was supposed to consist of four books - decades. But already in 2010, Parfyonov began writing the fifth volume of the book, the first half of which he presented in 2011, and the second half in March 2013.
Leonid tries himself as an actor in dubbing animated films and feature films, worked as a member of the jury of television programs Minute of Glory, Major League of KVN, Voting KiViN, and since 2010, he has been the permanent host of the program “What our years! ”together with host Tatyana Arno.
In 2008, Leonid became the winner of the "Best Journalist Book" award for the series "The Day Before. Our Era. Events, People, Phenomena." A year later, he received the “Book of the Year” prize from the Rospechat agency. Parfyonov does not consider himself a writer, since he has only 2 professions - a journalist and a TV presenter.
“And the book is hardcover journalism.”
The basis of the publications was the television project “The Other Day”. In the first 6 volumes, a progressive chronology was traced: each decade from the 60s to the mid-2000s was assigned a book. Then - the appeal in the prewar years. Leonid explained that in Russia in the 21st century there was almost nothing left of “Sovietism” and the lessons of the past were forgotten.
The cycle "Russian Empire" is dedicated to the period from Peter the Great to the October Revolution. The author again traveled around the places he visited, introducing the audience to the eponymous series, expanded and supplemented the material.
“Literature is about me. Leonid Parfyonov ”was released in digital audio format. In the book, the TV presenter answered questions from writer and columnist Dmitry Bykov about working on television, school friends, musical tastes and other aspects of life.
Together with his wife Elena Leonid released a collection of recipes "Eat!", Which contains culinary hits, from simple to requiring patience in cooking. Parfyonov had a duty to select illustrations.
Parfenov met his wife Elena Chekalova thanks to the profession. Having seen Leonid’s article in the newspaper, the journalist Chekalova was eager to see a talented young man with her own eyes. A friend came to visit Lena and brought Parfenov for the company. Since then, the romance began, ending with a wedding in 1987.
Wedding of Elena Chekalova and Leonid Parfenov
Chekalova worked on Channel One, led the culinary heading “Happiness Is!” In the “Morning” program. At the end of 2013, the woman was fired, according to Elena, for her husband’s political views and for the support of Alexei Navalny, who ran for mayor of Moscow. But they didn’t say anything about it in their eyes. Moreover, false information was posted on the website: supposedly the TV presenter had other projects. This is perhaps the only time the Parfenov family has attracted the attention of the press. The journalist’s personal life, neither in his youth, nor after years of marriage, became a source of rumors and gossip.
Leonid Parfyonov with his wife Elena Chekalova, daughter Maria and son Ivan
The spouses have two adult children - a son and a daughter. Ivan graduated from the University of Milan and, according to some sources, works at RIA Novosti, and according to others, he is developing the Asian direction in the Apostol communication holding, whose general director was Tina Kandelaki at one time. Maria studied in London, at the faculty of media and sociology of the City University, is engaged in the family restaurant business.
Leonid Parfyonov, Elena Chekalova, Ivan Parfyonov and Maria Breitman with their family
In 2015, Leonid Parfyonov had a relationship with banker Mikhail Breitman: Ivan married the daughter of entrepreneur Maria, a graduate of the London Architectural Association School of Architecture. The wedding was celebrated according to Jewish customs. Photos from the celebration and the next honeymoon were published by glossy publications. After 3 years, the journalist became a grandfather.
The beginning of the creative path
Good academic performance helped the future journalist enter the Zhdanov Leningrad University. As a student of journalism, Leonid lived in a student dormitory. Parfenov moonlighted in the print media of Leningrad long before graduation.
In 1982, he received a diploma and left for his homeland, in Cherepovets. Some time successfully printed in local publications. Soon, a talented journalist was spotted on local television. His interview with disgraced musician Artemy Troitsky was shown on regional TV.
Information-analytical project “The other day”
In 1986, Leonid Parfyonov moved to Moscow. For a long time he lives in rented apartments, actively prints, trying to break into television. Soon the efforts were successful. The young journalist begins to flicker on the central channel. The author’s program “The Other Day” was a real breakthrough. The project was noted by Russian viewers. The leading weekly analytical program was remembered.
Journalistic courage brought him fame and popularity. The program was broadcast several years in a row. The program was closed when a plot forbidden by the leadership was released on the air. The author and presenter of the program was dismissed from NTV for violating corporate ethics.
Without waiting for the invitation of other television channels, Leonid Parfyonov accepts the offer to take the post of editor-in-chief of the Russian Newsweek magazine. Failures in his career did not break him. He collects materials for writing a future book with the big name “The Other Day”.
Facts. Leonid Parfyonov was awarded the Russian national TEFI Prize for the information-analytical program “The Other Day”.
Leonid Parfyonov now
In an interview on Echo of Moscow in 2017, Leonid Parfyonov said:
“Either I don't need youtube, or I don't need youtube, but for some reason this story doesn’t grow together.”
In 2018, apparently, everything “grew together”, and the journalist opened his own channel. He didn’t philosophize with the name; he beat the surname “Parthenon”. Bright and recognizable. Leonid Gennadyevich calls the commercials a weekly diary of events. The first issue in a couple of days scored over 500 thousand views.
Leonid Parfyonov in the Parthenon show
The producer Ilya Ovcharenko, the former manager of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company and Rambler, and co-host Valentin Petukhov, whom the Internet community knows under the nickname Wylsacom, help Parfyonov. Colleagues Leonid is surprised that he responds to user comments that, by and large, few people do on the Web.
The rise in the popularity of the blog was ensured by the personality of the journalist, Ilya believes. Parfyonov knows how to present information so that the viewer on the other side of the screen becomes an interlocutor. By the way, the owner of the channel in an interview with Dozhd, given in January 2019, called the activity on YouTube not blogging, but namely journalism.
Leonid Parfyonov in 2019
"Parthenon" has turned not only into a way of self-expression of a former TV presenter. The media cited an assessment by a bloggers research agency, suggesting that the creator of the channel earned 22.9 million rubles in a year. Parfenov himself reacted calmly to these words:
“I did not summarize. Even the money that was named there is small. In general, the money there is not crazy, to say the least. And the material incentive is the weakest for me. ”
Leonid is not interested in current television either as a viewer or as an expert who is versed in the process of creating content. Therefore, the journalist does not watch TV, and resonant news or a film can be obtained on the Internet.
Country cottage in the village
Own real estate appeared in the couple only in 2012, when the couple were able to afford a country house. The site is located in the old suburban village of Moscow region. The three-story mansion, built in the Swiss style "fachwerk", is surrounded on all sides by centuries-old pine trees.
The TV journalist himself admits that the local nature reminds him of his native village of Uloma, Vologda Oblast, where he spent his childhood. The country house is tastefully furnished. The living room is decorated with restored furniture of the 19th – 20th centuries. The presenter lives in a mansion together with his wife Elena.
Achievements in the profession
Leonid Parfyonov is rightly considered the master of Russian journalism.
In the era of change, the novice correspondent stood at the origins of the formation of Russian TV. He sincerely considers journalism his craft.
It so happened that Leonid’s copyrighted programs were remembered by the viewer. A man with a nuclear temperament, he is not used to retreat. Diligence, intense energy and outstanding talent helped him to develop vivid projects. It is enough to list the most significant achievements:
- “Children of the Twentieth Congress” - a documentary film,
- series of documentary programs “The Days of 1961-2003: Our Era”,
- series of programs "Portrait on the background",
- the musical “Old Songs about the Essentials” (authorship),
- television project "Russian Empire".
Parfyonov is the author of a series of documentary films about the life and work of great poets, artists and writers of Soviet and Russian art. He shot topical stories on sports, art, politics and much more. He always tried to highlight the acute problems of public life.
Leonid Parfyonov today
After a scandalous dismissal, the TV presenter no longer works on television. More than eight years have passed since he left NTV. For the Russian layman, he disappeared from television screens. A man of the profession, true to his word, Parfyonov could not live a day without journalism. He continues to work hard. In the period from 2004 to 2017, he prepared many stories on an urgent and topical topic. One has only to recall the documentaries “Oh, world, you are a sport”, “Bird-Gogol” and the three-part film of 2016–2017 “Russian Jews”.
Painstaking work was done by a journalist on the literary front. Over the years of forced exile, he wrote the book “The Day Before: Our Era.” Leonid plans to release a four-volume. The first three volumes are devoted to Russia of the sixties, seventies and eighties. Currently, the TV presenter is finishing writing the fourth volume devoted to Russia of the nineties.
The last time Parfyonov appeared on federal television more than ten years ago. Since then, it was available to the Russian public only as a documentary.
The Russian audience, meanwhile, was bored. The Russian audience has become accustomed to the corporate "Parthenian" style, expressed in a peculiar manner of presentation of the word.
After a 14-year hiatus, Parthenov appeared again on the screens, but now on the YouTube channel in the Parthenon 18+ show. The first issue collected over a million views in a month. Plots filmed in the suburbs, where the host’s summer cottage is located. The program highlights current issues and events in Russia and abroad. Another project of the famous TV man is surprised by high ratings.
Here is the first issue of his project:
Now, as happened earlier, Parfyonov does not seek to be at the epicenter of events, he lives today.
In the arsenal of the presenter several unrealized projects. For example, now you can watch the updated program “The Day before” on his YouTube channel.
Parfyonov has accumulated a lot of work, one can only wish creative inspiration and good luck.
From the first years of schooling, it became clear that Leonid is a humanist by mentality. So, the exact sciences were not given to him at all, he often received poor grades, but showed amazing abilities to literature. Parfyonov immediately found the opportunity to show his talent, and by the age of thirteen he was writing author articles for regional publications.
His first major article is dedicated to Solovyov’s film “One Hundred Days After Childhood.” For this work, he received a diploma, and earned a trip to the best sanatorium of that time - Artek, where he finally met the same enthusiastic guys. According to the memoirs, even while on vacation among the same talented children, he preferred not to waste time, but wrote notes for the city newspaper, which he published on his return.
At this point, it became clear that the vocation of young talent was predetermined, so after graduating from school he applied to Leningrad, Zhdanov University at the Faculty of Journalism.
Parents had long doubted that he would be able to qualify for the leading universities in the country, and that by working as a journalist, he would be able to secure a stable life. However, Leonid was completely confident in the future place of study and passed the difficult entrance exams without any problems. So officially began his professional career in journalism. In addition to the brilliant results of entrance exams, a significant role was played by the presence of his impressive portfolio for such a young age.
Finally, he found companions for the interest in journalism and felt himself in a suitable society. He immediately plunged into Leningrad culture, spending a lot of time among the local parties of the intelligentsia. In the hostel he lived with a foreign group from Bulgaria, so he managed to learn the Bulgarian language.
He later admitted that this is the only foreign language that he speaks fluently. During the summer holidays, he traveled by invitation to Bulgaria with his comrades. It played a considerable role in the formation of his personality, since he saw a completely different world, and also gained access to a large number of foreign literature, which was not available in Russia.
Mother, Alvina Andreevna Parfyonova (nee Shmatinina, born 1931), originally from the village of Uloma, the ancestors of her father, metallurgical engineer Gennady Viktorovich Parfyonov (1931-2004), from Yorgy. My father was the chief engineer of the Cherepovets Metallurgical Plant (in his free time he was a fisherman and hunter, he liked to hunt ducks). Brother Vladimir Parfyonov (born 1966) is a businessman, the owner of a company selling medical equipment, loves hunting.
He studied at the Cherepovets school number 4. In 1973 he received the diploma of the Pioneer Truth Junior. The first great material for the State Prize was dedicated to Sergei Solovyov’s film “One Hundred Days After Childhood” (1975). In 1977 he entered the Faculty of Journalism of the Zhdanov Leningrad University. He lived in a hostel together with students from Bulgaria, thanks to which he learned the Bulgarian language, which until now, in his own words, remains the only foreign language that can speak fluently. He graduated from the faculty in 1982.
It was printed in the Soviet press from Krasnaya Zvezda and Pravda to Moscow News and Ogonyok. In 1983, he was a correspondent in the newspaper Vologda Komsomolets. For the newspaper, he made articles on the most relevant topics (youth culture, fashion, art), in particular, wrote a number of notes about the Leningrad rock club. After a while, two decisions follow on behalf of the Vologda Regional Committee of the CPSU: “On the shortcomings in the Vologda Komsomolets newspaper” and “On the serious shortcomings in the Vologda Komsomolets newspaper”. After them, Parfyonov will be forced to resign from the newspaper and goes to work on the Vologda Regional TV in Cherepovets, where he worked until his departure to Moscow in 1986. On regional TV, he conducted a television interview with Alexander Bovin, disgraced music journalist Artemy Troitsky and the leader of the Magnetic Band Gunnar Graps.
He was friends with future famous rock musician Alexander Bashlachev in journalistic circles. It was at Parfyonov’s apartment in September 1984 that a crucial meeting for Bashlachev with Artemy Troitsky took place, after which he organized the first apartment concerts for Bashlachev in Moscow and Leningrad.
The beginning of Parfyonov’s career
Upon completion of training according to the results of distribution, he returned to Cherepovets, continuing to publish in many periodicals. Continuing his career, he became a correspondent for the Volgograd Komsomolets, where he immediately showed himself. His articles were published on relevant topics for Soviet youth, including a number of articles about the Leningrad Rock Club. However, bold articles displeased the regional committee of the CPSU, and he had to resign.
A few years later, at the invitation, he will return to life in the capital, Eduard Salagayev, editor-in-chief of youth programs of the central television of the USSR, invited him to Mosvka. The next two years, Leonid worked in the television program "World and Youth", then moved to the ATV studio. In 1990−91, the informational and analytical program “The Other Day” was released, Parfyonov was in the role of lead and author of the project. It was his participation in this program that brought him all-Union fame, since the format of the program and its behavior as a host were unusually vivid for that time.
Together with the author’s television company Leonid, he managed to create a new format for the television show, which the audience liked so much. Alas, a year after the release of the program, Leonid was removed from the post of host because of criticism of the resignation of Eduard Shevardnadze. Fortunately, this did not greatly affect the career of the young journalist, and he continued his work already in the project "Case" about 91 years, and the show "Portrait on the Background".
This show talked about leading political and cultural figures personifying entire eras.
In 1986, he was a special correspondent for the youth editorial staff of Central Television, while working as a correspondent for the Peace and Youth program. In 1988 he switched to work on “Author's television”. In 1989, co-authored with Andrei Razbash, he shot a three-part documentary film “Children of the 20th Congress” about the generation of the sixties (Evgeny Yevtushenko, Len Karpinsky, Egor Yakovlev, Andrey Voznesensky and others).
In 1990-1991, he was the author and presenter of the informational and analytical program “The Other Day”, which Parfyonov did together with the television company “Author's Television”. In early 1991, Parfyonov was removed from the air for "incorrect" statements about the resignation of Eduard Shevardnadze from the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In 1992 he made a series of programs "Case", which tells about the events that took place in the world in 1991.
From 1991 to 1993, on Channel 1, Ostankino was the author and presenter of the documentary observation “Portrait on the Background”. At first, Parfyonov talked about political figures (Gaidar, Rutskoi, Shevardnadze, Nazarbayev), and then he dedicated the broadcasts to people representing any era (Zykina, Kirillov, Magomayev, Pugachev, Grebenshchikov). The latest release of the program was dedicated to the then-popular singer Bogdan Titomir, who uttered the phrase “People Havana” on the program’s broadcast, which later became the winged one.
“The generation of historians and observers who grew up in the USSR and became adults in the 1970s includes Leonid Parfyonov, whose television programs and luxuriously published books attached to them presented us in the seventies (as, however, the sixties, eighties and nineties) as "something without which it is impossible to imagine us is even more difficult to understand." Parfyonov gives the viewer the opportunity to succumb to the charm of objects and habits of Soviet everyday life, maybe even fall into nostalgia, although he himself retains some ironic distance. ”
In 1992, he interviewed Evgeny Leonov, which, as it later turns out, was the last for the popular actor.
In 1992, Parfyonov, Konstantin Ernst, Igor Ugolnikov and former producer of the VID television company Svetlana Popova formed the company “Master TV” for the production of its own programs, which lasted three years.
In October 1993, he transferred to work at the newly created NTV television company, where he decided to re-launch the program “The Day After”, but in the format of a “weekly informational program of non-political news.”
In 1994, he was the author and host of the NTV - New Year's Television project, for which he received his first TEFI in the Entertainment Program nomination.
March 15, 1995 Leonid Parfyonov held a talk show Vladislav Listyev "Rush Hour" on the 1st channel of Ostankino.
In 1995-1996 he was the author of the first two parts of the popular New Year's show "Old Songs about the Main" (ORT). The idea of the project was conceived together with Konstantin Ernst back in 1993, during the filming of the film about Alla Pugacheva from the series “Portrait on the Background” in Nizhny Novgorod, however, the idea was realized only two years later, when Ernst became the general producer of ORT.
From October 1995 to January 1998 (alternately with Eugene Kiselev and Pavel Lobkov) and from April to May 2001 he also conducted the Hero of the Day program.
In 1997-2001 he was the presenter of the historical program “The Days of 1961-2003: Our Era”.
From April 1997 to March 1999, he served as the main producer of NTV, and from December 1997, he was a member of the board of directors of this television company. In this position he was responsible for non-political broadcasting of the TV channel, as well as for design, broadcasting network, premieres, and programs of third-party manufacturers. Under his leadership, in the fall of 1997, the infamous “About This” program was launched with Elena Hanga, the first in the history of the Russian TV talk show about love and sex. Occupying this position, at about the same time he invited Lev Novozhenov and Dmitry Dibrov to the state of the television company. In the spring of 1999, he left the post of his own free will.
In 1998, paired with Elena Hanga, he led the Russian version of the game "Fort Boyard."
In the late 1990s - late 2000s, he was often invited to the jury of the Major League of KVN. Twice was a member of the jury of the Voting KiViN festival (1997, 1999). In October 2000, he was the host and commentator on the broadcast of the TEFI-2000 television award ceremony on NTV. From November 2000 to May 2003 he led the historical documentary project "Russian Empire" on NTV.
From January to April 2001, he presented the column “Special View of Leonid Parfyonov” in the framework of the informational and analytical program “Itogi”. He was the author and presenter of several films from the series "Recent History".
During the conflict of journalists with the new management in 2001, he took the side of the government, and his colleagues (Dibrov, Tochilin, Yusupov, Listova and Nasibov) called him “traitor” on the air of Anthropology. On April 6, 2001, after the broadcast of Dibrov’s program, Parfyonov decided to leave NTV “nowhere”, wrote an open letter to the channel’s director general, Yevgeny Kiselyov, and did not go to work for a week. After the exodus of the journalistic team on April 14, 2001, Parfyonov agreed to collaborate with the team of Boris Yordan and led NTV as the general producer, but only for the time the concept of the new season was being developed: Alexander Oleinikov would replace him as the general producer. On April 16, 2001, the NTV Editorial Board was created, which in addition to Parfyonov included Tatyana Mitkova, Vladimir Kulistikov and a number of journalists. Leonid earned a reputation as strikebreaker, but he himself emphasized that he was not afraid of this. In 2018, Parfyonov, explaining his position during the conflict, said that journalists, when covering the events surrounding the change of ownership of NTV, “went too far with corporate fidelity” and “abused the broadcast,” which he himself was against. At the same time, he noted that he restored relations with most of those who left NTV as a result of the conflict around his owner of journalists, including with Yevgeny Kiselyov.
From September 2001 to May 2004, he was the author and presenter of the informational and analytical program “The Other Day”. On January 31, 2003, the program was awarded the TEFI Prize in the nomination “Information and Analytical Program”. Some reporters of the program (including Andrei Loshak and Aleksey Pivovarov) were also separately awarded this prize.
At the beginning of 2003, the team of the program “The Day After”, headed by Parfyonov, launched the information program “Country and Peace”, which was aired on NTV on weekdays at 22:00. The program will last until the end of December 2004, after which the Today program will be released at 22:00 and then at 19:00 (the main issue) in a stylistically reminiscent of the Country and World program.
In January 2003, the satirical story of Pavel Lobkov about the new NTV general director, doctor of medical sciences Nikolai Senkevich, the head of Parfyonov and Lobkov, caused a great public outcry on the program “On the Days”. In the story, Lobkov cited evidence, citing Senkevich’s article “Advice to Voltaire”, that the new NTV general director in his medical specialty is not so much a therapist, but rather a proctologist. After that, the program “The Day After” goes on vacation for several months, and again goes on air on May 18.
In July 2003, the Country and World program was unexpectedly sent on vacation and nearly closed. In November, the plot about the book “Tales of the Kremlin Digger” by Elena Tregubova was withdrawn from “The Last Day”, which Parfyonov announced right on the air of the program. A similar story happened in May 2004, when Parfyonov planned to include in his program an interview with the widow of the Chechen separatist Zelimkhan Yandarbiev. NTV editor-in-chief Alexander Gerasimov issued an order prohibiting the broadcast of this story on European air (the story has already been shown in the eastern part of the country), supposedly at the request of Russian special services, so as not to affect the process of Russian citizens suspected of Yandarbiev’s murder in Qatar. Parfyonov published the text of the order in the Kommersant newspaper, where the full text of the interview was also published. The management considered this a violation of corporate ethics, and on May 31, 2004 the program “The Day After” was closed, and Parfyonov himself was fired from NTV.
Collaboration with NTV and transfer the other day
First, Parfyonov joined the VID company, the author of which was Vladislav Listyev. And in 1993, the popular TV presenter joined the NTV television company, where the show “The Day Before” was re-created. It turned out in the form of an information broadcast of non-political news. A year later, he received the first TEFI of his life, in total there will be five in his career. The first was awarded for the entertainment show "New Year's Television NTV."
Together with Konstantin Ernst, who became the gene. ORT producer:
- The show "Old Songs about the Essentials" was first released, which immediately received great love and recognition from all the inhabitants of the post-Soviet space.
- Another famous project that he has been conducting for several years is “Hero of the Day”, where, in the form of an interview, topical problems and events were discussed with the most prominent political and cultural representatives of Russia.
Since 97, Leonid became one of the producers of the NTV channel and was a member of the board of directors of the television company. However, the main project for many years was the television show “The Other Day,” which is a series of documentaries. For the first four years, 16 films were released in the cycle “Russian Empire”, telling the history of the Russian state from the end of the 17th century until the pre-revolutionary 1917, that is, the reign from Peter I to Nicholas II.
Most of the most interesting NTV projects that the whole country of those years discussed were related in one way or another to Leonid. So it was he who led the launch of the infamous, provocatively new program “About This.” He also created a section in the Itogi program, which was named after him, Leonid Parfyonov's Special Look, and during this period he produced the series Recent History. Films of Leonid Parfyonov possessed great cultural value.
Activities after 2004
From 2004 to 2014, he was the author of documentaries on Channel One. During this period of work, documentaries were created “Oh, the world - you are a sport!”, “Lyusya”, “And personally Leonid Ilyich”, “Zvorykin-Muromets”, “Bird-Gogol”, “Ridge of Russia”, “Color of the nation” and etc.
From December 5, 2004 to December 20, 2007 he was the editor-in-chief of the Russian Newsweek magazine.
In the fall of 2006, Parfyonov was supposed to become the host of the “Two Stars” musical project on Channel One, paired with Alla Pugacheva, but during the filming of the program at the very end of August, he broke his calcaneus, falling from a two-meter podium.
In 2007, he began work on the book-album “The other day. Our Era, ”divided into four volumes - by decades. According to Parfyonov:
The book contains much more information than was in the television project. The volume of the text is five times more. Television was greatly limited by the sluggish, old newsreel. In addition, the publication has a number of topics that were not in the television project at all: from filmstrips to the escape of Nureyev.
The first volume was released on November 11, 2008. The four-volume was so successful that at the end of 2010 Parfyonov began work on an additional fifth volume.
In the spring of 2008, he voiced the Russian version of the animated series 38 Monkeys, aired on a 2x2 channel.
Since the late 2000s, he has regularly appeared in television commercials.
In 2009 - a permanent member of the jury of the Channel One program “Minute of Glory”. From 2010 to 2011, together with Tatyana Arno, he led the program “What are our years!” On Channel One. From 2011 to 2013, he hosted the television show “The Disney Wizarding World” on the same channel, replacing Ivan Urgant.
November 25, 2010 became the first winner of the Vladislav Listyev Prize. Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Parfyonov sharply criticized the situation on Russian television. It was assumed that “Parfyonov thus attempted to apologize to those of his colleagues who were victims and his cowardice in a critical situation,” Vladimir Pozner, who led the triumph, “knew in advance about Parfyonov’s intention” and the reaction of the guests, “among whom were the heads of the TV channels, well-known journalists and television presenters, representatives of the presidential administration "designated as approving (" no reaction, except for applause "). And at a rally on December 10 against falsification in the 2011 parliamentary elections, he said that modern TV is "a bastard with badminton and amphora."
On December 2, 2011 Leonid Parfyonov took part in the presentation of the new volume of the encyclopedia “The Days Before (2001-2005)” at the Moscow Book House on Novy Arbat. At the meeting, Leonid Parfyonov said that he wanted to create a large volume dedicated to the 21st century, but did not fit into one book, so “The Day Before (2001-2005)” is the first half-volume. The second half-hour (“The other day (2006-2010)”) was released in March 2013.
On the eve of the 2012 presidential election, Boris Berezovsky announced that he would like to see “Lenya Parfyonova” as president of Russia.
March 1, 2012 on the Internet, the premiere of the music video "Bye, Bear!" Vasya Oblomov’s song, recorded with Ksenia Sobchak and Leonid Parfyonov, ridicules the Russian government’s ideas about the opposition and is dedicated to the non-participation of President Dmitry Medvedev in the country's political life. In May of the same year, the premiere of the second series of a music video took place, in which they turned to Vladimir Putin. The video is called "GDP." On December 31, 2012 in the program “Parfyonov 2012” the third video clip of Vasya Oblomov, Ksenia Sobchak and Leonid Parfyonov “Rap prayer in support of faith” (an allusion to the punk prayer service “Mother of God, Put Putin!” By Pussy Riot) was shown.
From April 8 to June 24, 2012, he was one of the leaders of the Parfyonov and Pozner program on the Dozhd TV channel. Every Sunday, eminent presenters met in the Dozhd studio at 21:00 to discuss the main events of recent days with each other and guest newsmakers. In June of that year, the transmission was closed. The management of Channel One posed Posner with a choice - to work either on Channel One or on Rain - and he chose Channel One.
From November 12, 2012 to 2018, he was a member of the Presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights. He worked as a member of the standing commission on freedom of information and the rights of journalists and the standing commission on historical memory. On March 2, 2014, together with the other 26 members of the HRC (Svanidze, Masiuk, Kucher, etc.), he disagreed with the permission of the Federation Council to the President of the Russian Federation on the use of Russian troops in Ukraine.
On December 31, 2012, Parfyonov summed up the results of 2012 in the program "Parfyonov 2012", which aired on the Dozhd TV channel. Among other things, the TV presenter paid attention to the punk group Pussy Riot, the Russian Orthodox Church and the watches of Patriarch Kirill, the protest movement and the white tape, Vladimir Putin’s flight with the Siberian Cranes and a video for the song Gangnam Style, which gained more than a billion views on YouTube.
March 19, 2013 saw the presentation of the 6th volume “The Day Before” (2006—2010).
On March 24, 2013, the first issue of the Parfyonov socio-political weekly television magazine took place, led by Parfyonov himself, and Alexander Urzhanov, former chief editor of the Central Television program on NTV, became the editor-in-chief. The creators were the Independent Media Support Fund, which launched crowdfunding on its website to raise funds for the production of the program, and the Dozhd TV channel. Funds were raised to create 12 issues of the television magazine. At the end of June 2013, the program was closed. After the premiere show on the Dozhd TV channel, the program was distributed free of charge on regional channels.
In January 2016, he prepared a lesson about the new language of media, elite responsibility and the future for the Open University educational online project.
On April 14, 2016, the first series of the documentary project “Russian Jews”, created jointly with the Genesis Foundation of Mikhail Fridman, was released to theaters. In total, three series were released.
From June 23 to August 25, 2017, he was the host of the music talk show “The Other Day at Karaoke” on the RTVI TV channel.
On February 19, 2018, he launched his own YouTube channel, the weekly Leonid Parfyonov show “Parthenon”, where, in particular, he called for ignoring the presidential election on March 18, 2018, and also posted for free access all three episodes of the “Russian Jews” project.
In September 2018, he announced that he had begun work on the documentary “Russian Georgians”.
In the New Year's greetings, shot in Paris, Leonid Parfyonov made a reference to the words of Vladimir Putin about the riots in the capital of France.
At the beginning of 2019, it became known that Leonid Parfyonov would resume his project “The Other Day,” which premiered on March 18, 2019, on YouTube. The program comes out every two weeks, each issue is dedicated to one year from the history of the USSR from 1946 to 1960.
Conflict and care with NTV
In the early 2000s, a conflict arose between the NTV leadership and relations with many colleagues worsened sharply. Until 2004, “The other day” was on NTV, however, in the last year of work on NTV, difficulties began. Many stories were suddenly seized just before the broadcast. The turning point was the issue for which an interview was shot with the widow of the Chechen separatist. Transfer in time go to the east of the country, but the plot was banned for the European part. Parfyonov published a full version of the same interview and an order banning the plot in the Kommersant newspaper, which the channel’s management considered NTV’s betrayal, the journalist was fired.
The next ten years, documentaries led by Parfyonov appeared on Channel One. During this time, many author films were released, such as “The Color of the Nation”, “Ridge of Russia”, “Personally Leonid Ilyich”, “Bird-Gogol” and others. In addition to his career as a TV presenter, Leonid returns to journalism, becoming the editor-in-chief of the Newsweek Russia magazine. After leaving his post in 2007, Leonid took up work on individual projects “The other day: our era”. For some time Leonid worked on the Rain channel.
Initially, “The Other Day” was an album divided into 4 volumes with a description of each decade. The fame of the television project “The Day Before” brought success to the four-volume “The Day Before: Our Era”. There are eight volumes on the list the other day:
- The first four volumes are presented in 2008. They describe the events of the sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties. Since 2010, work has been ongoing on the creation of the fifth volume.
- The fifth and sixth volumes were published in 2011 and 2013; they are devoted to the 21st century in the first five years - 2001–2005 and 2006–2010.
- Then the “zero” volume on the post-war period until the sixties, and the “minus the first” volume on the pre-war thirties were issued.
- The seventh volume of 2011–2015 and the “minus second” volume of 1918–1930 are under development.
- The series is very popular, so Parfyonov continues to work carefully on the new volumes of The Last Day.
Oppositional views and criticism
A contradiction with generally accepted norms first appeared in Leonid back in the days of the Soviet Union, when he had the opportunity to go abroad, and only intensified during his time in the nineties and zero years.
Leonid was never afraid to express critical views, neither during the conflict with the NTV team, nor later, calmly speaking about controversial topics, Ukraine, etc. In 2010, in Moscow, he received the Vladislav Listyev award, becoming the first Russian laureate. At the award ceremony, he sharply criticized the existing television regarding his former colleagues, and in 2011 declared “obscene” and the degradation of the television currently existing in Russia during the falsification of the Duma elections.
Together with Ksenia Sobchak, music videos were recorded that ridiculed the shortcomings of the existing Russian government. So the songs of Vasya Oblomov were released:
- “Bye, Bear”
- “Rap Prayer for Faith”
Where to find Parfyonov today
At the moment, you can find new projects on the Internet, where Leonid Parfenov is now releasing a weekly video as part of YouTube: a show called "Parthenon". He actively uses the capabilities of social platforms such as facebook, instagore, Vkontakte.
Also, a three-part project “Russian Jews” about their fate outside Israel was posted on YouTube. At the moment, it is known about the plans for the serial film "Russian Georgians" and "Russian Germans." These movie projects span a long period from the revolution to the end of the war, and talk about the fate of Russian-speaking nationalities: Jews, then Germans and Georgians around the world.
Today, he is trying to do his projects without being tied to any media sphere and television channel. There is a feeling that he disappeared from the screens, although he has not disappeared from the culture. In recent years, he has released 7 films and 7 books, managed to join the educational project "Open University", where he read copyright lessons on modern changes in the media language. He can talk openly about current issues that are of interest to him now; he is allowed by the YouTube outdoor platform, where he often speaks out in opposition.
Personal life Leonid has been married for many years to Elena Chekalova, whom they met through journalism. Wife Elena is known thanks to the program “There is Happiness”, and at the moment she is leading the author’s column in a businessman. During their family life, they had two children: a daughter, Maria, a son, Ivan, was married to Maria Breutman, their son was just recently born. Despite the media nature of each spouse, they try not to talk about family happiness, and did not draw attention to conflicts and scandals.
Co-authored by the couple, the Parfyonovs wrote three books: “Our portrait is returned to us”, “Before and after the look” and “Night air”.
Parfyonov Leonid Gennadevich
Born January 26, 1960 in Cherepovets, Vologda Oblast.
Well-known journalist, TV presenter, author of popular television projects.
In 1982 he graduated from the Faculty of Journalism of the Leningrad University named after Zhdanov. It was printed in the Soviet press from Krasnaya Zvezda and Pravda to Moscow News and Ogonyok.
1983 - correspondent in the newspaper "Vologda Komsomolets", then on the Vologda Regional TV.
1985 - Conducted a television interview on Vologda TV with the disgraced at that time music critic Artemy Troitsky.
1986 - Special Correspondent of the youth editorial office of Central Television, correspondent for the World and Youth program.
1987 - created a three-part documentary “Children of the XX Congress” about the generation of the sixties (co-authored with Andrei Razbash).
1988 - Works on Author's Television.
1991 - released on Author's Television (ATV) the first version of “The Last Day” - a weekly issue of “non-political news”.
1992 - created a series of programs "Portrait on the Background."
On NTV - from the day the company was founded (1993). Author and co-author of the New Year's show “Old Songs about the Main-1, 2”, series of documentary television films, including: “The other day 1961-91. Our era ”,“ Living Pushkin ”,“ Russian Empire ”,“ Crimean War ”,“ Lyusya ”,“ Gambit. At the scene ”,“ Eternal Oleg ”and others. Prior to his dismissal due to a conflict with the NTV leadership, he conducted the weekly television journal“ The Days ”for three seasons. Winner of contests, festivals and awards.
From December 2004 to December 2007 - Chief Editor of Russian Newsweek magazine.
He was awarded the TEFI Prize for the program "The Other Day", and in 2004 a special prize.
TEFI-2010 Prize: "Zvorykin-Muromets", "Channel One" - "For Invariably Unit Work Against the Background of Conveyor Television"