Martedì, 18 Settembre 2018
SANREMO

Sanremo song fest starts with furore, high ratings

English
© ANSA

Sanremo, February 13 - Italy's historic and
much-loved Sanremo song festival kicked off with high ratings
and political controversy on Tuesday.
The opening night of the 2013 festival flirted with crisis
when comedian Maurizio Crozza came on and started to do his
famous impersonation of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi.
Crozza was heckled by sections of the audience, with some
shouting "no politics".
With the country due to go to the polls on February 24-25,
media coverage of politics is restricted by strict pre-election
rules.
The audience eventually calmed down and Crozza went on to
finish his act to warm applause.
Nevertheless, Berlusconi, who is leading the centre-right's
campaign, said Wednesday that the comedian's number will turn
out to have a "boomerang" effect for the centre-left of Pier
Luigi Bersani, the frontrunner in the opinion polls.
Berlusconi had previously said he did not think the
festival should be held during the election campaign.
The controversy did not stop the opening night being a big
hit with viewers.
Figures released Wednesday showed that 14.196 million
people, 47.61% of Italian viewers, turned in to the first part
of the show.
The second half, which included Crozza's act, had a lower
average viewer figure of 8.146 million, but a higher share of
the overall audience, 53.54%, because it was later at night.
Indeed, the viewing figure hit a peak of over 17 million
during Crozza's performance.
Berlusconi has suggested Italians might boycott payment of
their TV licence fee if the festival, shown by state broadcaster
RAI, provides a platform for left-wing views.
The show is hosted by presenter Fabio Fazio and Turin
comedian Luciana Littizzetto, both of whom are left-leaning.
The Sanremo festival is an institution for Italian music
fans and star-curious alike.
The festival's first edition was in 1951 with only two
participants, but since then it has launched the careers of a
number of Italy's top singers like Eros Ramazotti and Laura
Pausini.

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