Skip to comments.Berlusconi's 'feast of breast' under fire
Posted on 11/19/2006 3:57:04 AM PST by MadIvan
The girlfriend of Silvio Berlusconi's son, herself a television presenter, has lambasted programmes broadcast by the former prime minister's media empire for "showing too much cleavage".
Silvia Toffanin, 35, launched a stinging attack against Elisabetta Gregoraci, 24, and Sara Varone, 30, accusing them and the programme on which they appear of exhibitionism.
The women jointly present Buona Domenica (Happy Sunday) every week, a six-hour afternoon marathon of light entertainment, gossip and scantily clad women. The show attracts about eight million viewers a week and is shown on Mr Berlusconi's Canale 5 station, part of his Mediaset empire.
Toffanin, who presents a daily gossip programme for Mediaset, called Verissimo (The Truth), has been the girlfriend of Mr Berlusconi's son, Piersilvio, 38, a vice-president of Mediaset, for several years.
In an article published in the Libero daily newspaper, she wrote: "These two women [Gregoraci and Varone] are both very attractive but must they continue to show us their flourishing, plentiful cleavage with all that push-up?
"It's a veritable feast of breast, so much so the viewer is probably left suffering from indigestion. I fail to see why we must have so much 'balcony' breast and never-ending legs on television."
Toffanin has adopted a more demure image but was once a showgirl on a Mediaset programme, complete with revealing outfits, and was not above posing for publicity pictures in skimpy swimwear.
The use of the female form to draw bigger audiences is a long-standing ploy of Italian television. In 2003 the European Union invested £1 million to fund a course teaching young women the skills to become television game-show hostesses. The "school for soubrettes", so-called after opera's young sopranos, attracted 1,200 applicants for 97 places when it opened near Naples, despite complaints that it offered merely a "course for bimbos".
Neither of the two women under fire from Toffanin are strangers to controversy. Earlier this year Gregoraci was named as one of the women said to have given sexual favours to a foreign ministry official in return for finding them a job in television at least, according to claims in the leaked transcripts of his telephone conversations.
At the time she was working for a rival channel and lost her job, only to be hired by Mediaset after the intervention of Mr Berlusconi.
Meanwhile Varone is said to have "stolen" the husband of Sabrina Ferilli, one of Italy's best-loved actresses, just one year after the couple were married in a glitzy wedding.
Toffanin said she could appreciate "the beauty of the female figure". But she added: "Maybe someone thinks that by such displays viewing figures are raised. I'm sure if they used a few centimetres more material to cover up the figures would be the same."
An insider at Mediaset told The Sunday Telegraph: "The three women pass each other every day in the studios. The atmosphere has been icy."
In a joint statement to The Sunday Telegraph, Gregoraci and Varone declined to comment on Toffanin's complaints. "We just wish to concentrate on our work and we do not wish to fuel sterile and futile polemics," they said.
A spokesman for Mediaset said: "We have no comment. It is a matter between the women concerned. We have no intention of telling our presenters how to dress."
I won't believe it without proof. Pictures, please.
Husbands don't usually get stolen. They usually give themselves.
this thread is worthless without pictures.
I'll go with yes
Yeah...now for a cigarette...
Give themselves? How and in what way?
Give themselves? How and in what way?
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