Berlusconi abandons 'casting couch'
Thursday 12 November 2009
The era of fast-tracked careers for pretty faces in Prime Minister's Silvio Berlusconi's TV empire, which led to rumours of a casting couch, could be at an end. Young starlets wanting jobs on the Premier's Mediaset programmes must demonstrate appropriate professional skills and training, according to a stern memo from Berlusconi's son Piersilvio, Mediaset's vice-president.
The introduction of strict central casting is officially an austerity measure that will cut back on the number of scantily clad young women who decorate everything from quizzes to satirical programmes. But the Italian papers – and some Mediaset insiders – are in no doubt the diktat is also designed to spare the Prime Minister further blushes. The premier has been hit by a series of scandals in which he is alleged to have ingratiated himself with women with talk of television jobs.
A pretty face can aid a political career in Berlusconi's Italy. Mara Carfagna, the equal opportunities minister, was a topless model and a Mediaset show girl before joining the Cabinet. Before her meteoric rise, Berlusconi told Ms Carfagna he'd "marry her in a flash" if he were single.
According to Corriere della Sera, the new memo also had one of the Premier's favourite employees in mind. Emilio Fede, the pro-Berlusconi head of Mediaset's Telegiornale 4 news, has replaced older presenters with youthful ones.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Analyst is required to join the ...