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Last Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005, 08:45 GMT 09:45 UK
Benigni makes TV news striptease
Roberto Benigni
Benigni's comedy Life is Beautiful won three Oscars in 1999
Actor-director Roberto Benigni made an impromptu striptease during a live interview on an Italian TV news show.

Benigni, who won the best foreign film Oscar in 1998 for Life is Beautiful, removed his shirt and draped it over a news presenter's shoulders.

He then joked that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had resigned.

Benigni also offered viewers of the RAI channel's news show a refund for his new film The Tiger and the Snow, set in war-torn Iraq, if they did not like it.

During the appearance, Benigni argued in favour of poetry and against war, which he said "makes no sense and is vulgar".

Outspoken Berlusconi critic Benigni, who led a rally in Rome on Friday to protest at the Italian government's decision to cut state arts funding, jumped behind the newscaster and announced: "Berlusconi has resigned."

Renowned prankster

Benigni's appearance on the primetime evening bulletin on Saturday won him favourable reaction from some critics.

La Stampa newspaper said: "With his ability as an extraordinary improviser, he took over four minutes of the TV news, giving himself a gift of a long, maxi-commercial."

Benigni is renowned for his slapstick pranks.

At the Oscars ceremony in 1999, he climbed on the back of his seat and applauded the audience after he was told he had won the foreign film prize.

He also went on to win the best actor award.

On a previous Italian TV news appearance, he jumped on the desk of the news anchor and kissed him.

When he appeared on a popular TV variety show, he almost knocked the host to the floor when he enthusiastically embraced her.


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