Dominique de Villepin is due to launch
his own political movement on June 19, and in the run up has been multiplying his public and media appearances.
While on "La boïte à questions" portion
of the daily evening news and talk show, Le Grand Journal, on Canal +, Villepin made an error which has more than amused some commentators.
"La boïte à questions" is a short segment of the show during which guests are invited into a room in which they face a screen displaying questions sent in by viewers.
It's a light-hearted affair, obviously meant to be entertaining, but at times it can be quite revealing.
Such was the case with Villepin.
His question and answer session started off well enough, though.
"Can you say in English, 'I might be a candidate (for the presidency) in 2012'," he was asked.
The former diplomat, one-time foreign minister, and prime minister from 2005-2007 responded with aplomb, albeit it heavily accented.
The next question was one designed to test Villepin's street credibility when he was asked "to show that you're more 'with it' than Benoît Hamon [the 42-year-old spokesman for the Socialist party] can you tell us who Lady Gaga is?
"She's a charming singer, a little eccentric perhaps," he replied without flinching.
But it was when the 56-year-old was asked a question about a musical group with which his age would presumably make him more familiar that he came somewhat unstuck.
"If you had been a member of the Rolling Stones, which one would you like to have been?" flashed up on the screen.
"It would have been difficult to have been Mick Jagger," began Villepin in response. "So probably Ringo Star."
It was a blunder which, as far as the well-known French radio and television presenter Laurent Ruquier was concerned, didn't bode well for the former prime minister.
"It's not by confusing the two (groups) that Dominique de Villepin will appear more intelligent," commented Ruquier
during his daily radio programme on Monday.
"Of course it's a mistake that anyone could make as not everyone is familiar with the Beatles" he continued.
"But to try to give the impression that you know something, when you don't, that's not particularly admirable."