Italy. An interesting, infuriating place to live as a gin-raddled expat. Some notes and observations.
Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Only in Italy...
Meet Mike Bongiorno. Mike was the stalwart of Italian television. He was the game show king. He came over from America light years ago, changed his name and got on the box and never really left it. Towards the end of his TV career (he died in harness in 2009) there would be his rheumy face dragging out questions to some old bag at half past three in the afternoon in front of a catatonic audience both in the studio and at home. I can't think of a comparable figure on Blighty television, perhaps Brucie but without the height, hooter, talent and sense of irony. Anyhoo, he fell off his perch at the relatively young age (for an Italian) of 85 and in a display of staggering bad taste of which only the Italians are sometimes capable, he was given a State Funeral, his procession lined with thousands of weeping old biddies and arm-twisted schoolchildren endlessly texting each other for want of something better to do.
In an exquisite twist to the story, yesterday somebody nicked Mike's coffin from the family tomb near Novara up towards Milan. The family are awaiting the ransom request.