The Berlusconi Show Review: The Sex Factor
THE BERLUSCONI SHOW: Wednesday 17th March, BBC2, 7pm ALERT ME
Love him or loathe him, most people will accept that Silvio Berlusconi is a very special politician.
While our MPs have been scurrying to dodge the swinging axe of public outrage after the expenses scandal, the Italian Prime Minister has been swanning about in a manner that would see Russell Brand straight-jacketed and shipped back to sex rehab.
But despite his various scandals (a divorce after he attended a young model’s birthday, a cabinet which resembles a Sugababes audition and a smack in the face) he seems to be as popular as ever in his home country.
This spell-binding documentary from Mark Franchetti takes a much closer look at one of the most recognisable international figures of the modern age, and while it exposes some real skeletons in the old man’s closet, it also asks whether our view of him as a clown is triggered by vast cultural differences in Italy.
The accusations of fraud, tax evasion, political corruption and mafia connections fly thick and fast, but the truth is that Berlusconi has a higher popularity rating than most Eurpean leaders. “He talks like us,” says a cafe owner. “He is a man of the people.”
That might be something to do with his utter domination of the nation’s TV networks however, and a mass demonstration against him barely receives a mention on that evenings news.
“My parents were very poor, they were farmers, they all vote Berlusconi,” says a man with a large banner. When asked why, he replies, “because they’re all ******s!”