The Italian Almanac
Italian News - February 24
The organisers of Italy's most popular song festival are hoping to liven up this year's opening night with the presence of "Iron" Mike Tyson, jailbird and former heavyweight champion. He is, however, not expected to sing.
It is claimed the boxer has been offered €300,000 to appear as a guest at the San Remo Song Festival, which is followed live on Italian television for five nights running, and in the past has attracted up to 17.5 million viewers.
The invitation was quickly criticised by one of the stars of Italian song, Iva Zanicchi, 65, twice winner of the festival and back this year as a commentator. "Mike Tyson? - She told - He's a negative personality and I would never have invited him ... as soon as I heard about it I asked myself, isn't he still in prison?"