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Italian PM sings up a storm -

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Italian PM sings up a storm

The World Today - Friday, 12 September , 2008 12:50:00

Reporter: Stephanie Kennedy

ELEANOR HALL: Sales of Italian love songs may be given a boost by the country's Prime Minster.

A new CD featuring Silvio Berlusconi singing his favourite love songs will be on the shelves in
time for Christmas.

And as Stephanie Kennedy reports, Mr Berlusconi has taken a break from running the country to pen
the lyrics for his album:

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is not only a politician, but
he's also an entrepreneur, a real estate tycoon, sports team owner and a media mogul.

And to the surprise of many, he's also a singer and a song writer. In his younger years, the
71-year-old was a cruise ship crooner, and 50 years later, he's still performing for close friends.

(Sound of Silvio Berlusconi singing)

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: The Italian musician Mariano Apicella often accompanies Mr Berlusconi's crooning
on guitar.

(Sound of Silvio Berlusconi singing and Mariano Apicella playing guitar)

STEPHANIE KENNDY: The two first met seven years ago when Mr Berlusconi dined at a Naples restaurant
where Mariano Apicella was performing. Now they're collaborating on a second album of love songs.

Mark Dezzani is an Italian music journalist.

MARK DEZZANI: Well there was a lot of apprehension from a lot of people, and they wee curious to
see, or to hear, should I say, exactly how his lyrics would sound the music as well. But it was
actually, he's got a bit of fan base here in Italy, a core fan base and I reckon it must have been
them who bought the first album, which sold 45,000 copies, which is 5,000 short of a gold disc here
in Italy.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: I've heard that his songs are love songs. Are any of those to do with his own
life, because I know he's a bit of a flirt and he's had a pretty fiery relationship with his wife?

MARK DEZZANI: Exactly, he is a bit of flirt, and he's got an eye for the ladies, and he made one or
two gaffes before the last election which upset a few feminists as well. But most of them are very
positive romantic love ballads, and therefore I don't think it reflects his turbulent private life.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: Do some Italians think that he should stick to running the country, rather than
writing love songs?

MARK DEZZANI: Some of the people who have heard his music wish he might have stuck to that, but
quite a lot of them also wish that he wouldn't run the country either, it is a very polarised
country politically.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: I understand he's performed some of these love songs for visiting heads of
state. What's been their reaction?

MARK DEZZANI: There is a video of him performing some of his songs with Putin, the Russian Premier,
and there was sort of a polite grin and polite applause, and it's also said that when Tony Blair
and Cherie were guests of Berlusconi, again at his Sardinia villa, that Silvio burst into
spontaneous song for them as well. But there's no record as to what they actually thought of it.

ELEANOR HALL: The revelations from an Italian music journalist Mark Dezzani, speaking there to
Stephanie Kennedy.