The Italian Almanac
Italian News - March 31
Cult comedienne and filmmaker Sabina Guzzanti is to star as Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi in one of Britain's best-known satire shows this weekend. Guzzanti will perform a sketch alongside top comedian Rory Bremner, impersonating British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in which they poke fun at the pair's current political difficulties.
"In the skit, Berlusconi speaks his 'personal version' of English, while Blair secretly visits him to ask his advice on dealing with Scotland Yard, which is on his back over the loans scandal," explained Guzzanti. She was referring to claims that Blair's Labour party provided parliamentary seats in exchange for cut-rate loans. "The funny part is that Blair is this classically rigid Englishman, while Berlusconi is extremely physical, jumping into his arms, kissing him, stroking his back," said Guzzanti.
The show also touches on recent corruption allegations in an Italian case involving both Berlusconi and British corporate lawyer David Mills, husband of Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell. "Berlusconi, recalling his recent testimony in favour of Mills, offers to testify for Blair in parliament. He says he will guarantee the honesty of his old friend but Blair replies: 'No! Please don't!'"
The sketch is not the first time Guzzanti and Bremner have teamed up to mock Berlusconi and Blair. Bremner also appeared in Guzzanti's sleeper hit documentary, Viva Zapatero, in which she chronicled her unsuccessful battle to get her satirical TV show back on the air.