The Italian Almanac

veline from a past season

Italian Television - September 10

Italy's most popular comic show announced it had selected two young women for its fiercely coveted dancing girl slots. Thais Souza Wiggers and Melissa Satta, chosen from thousands of young hopefuls, will join the daily satire program 'Striscia La Notizia' (Strip The News) from September 26. Like many before them, they are hoping this could be the key to lasting stardom.

The Italian-American and Brazilian teenagers will replace two outgoing starlets as the show's 'veline', sexy dancing girls who appear at regular intervals and strut their stuff in front of the two male presenters.

While the tried-and-tested formula has won the show consistently high ratings, the selection process was changed this year. The show's creator Antonio Ricci handpicked the girls personally, marking a break with the televised heats of the last two years, which kept male audiences glued to their sets throughout the summer.

The spin-off show, entitled 'Veline', attracted ratings almost as high as those of 'Striscia La Notizia', with pretty contestants asked demeaning questions by the compere. They would then go into gyrations in front of the cameras with as many up-the-skirt shots as pre-watershed TV allowed.

But the program's makers seem determined to keep this year's winners shrouded in mystery until the last minute. A statement posted on the show's website sketched out the bare details of the girls' backgrounds. No photos were included although a description confirmed that, as usual, one of the dancers was blonde, while the other was brunette.