Since 1953, Italy has been using TV presenters to tell you the night’s programming, basically in what would be known today as a ‘videocast’. It’s one of the most endearing qualities of life in the Bel Paese. What’s more incredible about these announcers is that they are so loved, they are allowed to stay on long after their looks have gone into retirement. A few years back, the RAI decided to put them out to pasture – and in a public outcry so loud and long, they rescinded the order in a nanosecond. About the first time any government proclamation could be put into effect that quickly. Truly, in a country totally smitten with sexy young veline, the aging presenters are almost like an exhibition in a natural history museum, but we love them to smithereens.
And so, it comes as a huge surprise that metrosexual Italy has now chosen a new Signorina Buonasera – except he’s a Signorino. Even more incredible, he’s half-Egyptian, and it feels as if nothing short of a revolution is taking place – literally right before our eyes. In a nod toward their ever-changing population, they've chosen a young, tanned (in the Berlusconi-Obama sort of way), mixed-ethnicity guy with a truly terrific smile.
He would seem to have all the right credentials – but does he?
I have long held that Italy holds the title for the most over-talented and under-utilized population on earth. Well, even for our Signorino this seems to be the case. In a wonderful tribute article in the Corriere della Sera, we discover that our presenter Livio Bashir brings a curriculum vitae just perfect for this job announcing the evening’s shows:
- graduated with honors in Communications
- became a publicist
- won an Erasmus scholarship to the Social Sciences dept at Paris’ famed Sorbonne
- studied acting at the Living Theatre
- and has worked in theater, TV, movies and advertising
But, I shouldn’t despair. After all, Barbara Matera was a RAI announcer for 4 years. She’s now bringing down 20000 euro/month as a Europarliamentarian for Berlusconi's party.
Livio may just have the right credentials after all.