De Filippi to co-host Sanremo for free

Ferro, Giorgia, Mika, Ricky Martin, Rag'n'Bone Man announced

(ANSA) - Rome, January 11 - Reality talent show queen Maria De Filippi will co-host the 67th Sanremo Song Festival this year from February 7-11 alongside festival host and artistic director Carlo Conti.
    The pair announced the partnership on Wednesday at a press conference, where Conti revealed he first proposed the idea to De Filippi last summer.
    "For my third year at the helm of the festival there needed to be a different idea - there needed to be the best. And thinking of the best, I thought of Maria," he said.
    "In June or July I called her, then in August we tried to nail things down. I'm very honoured that she said yes to this idea, to this co-hosting with me".
    Conti said De Filippi would perform as co-host without pay.
    "With what it's cost us we don't have a lira left to pay the others," Conti joked, adding that there wouldn't be any dancers to accompany them because "the two of us are enough".
    De Filippi said she agreed to co-host because of her respect for Conti.
    "My participation is a true and real one, with my whole self, with my respect and the affinity I have for him," De Filippi said.
    She emphasized that Conti would remain artistic director.
    "I haven't taken part in any decision, I haven't heard the songs, I haven't participated in the content of the festival because I think that Sanremo belongs to RAI and to Carlo," she said, referencing the state broadcaster that transmits the show, whom she thanked.
    She also thanked her own network, Mediaset and its director Pier Silvio Berlusconi, "for having confirmed the freedom that I've experienced for years in choosing what to do and how to do it".
    Among the acts Conti announced at the press conference for this year's song fest, one of the major Italian TV events of the year, were Tiziano Ferro, Giorgia, Mika, Ricky Martin and Rag'n'Bone Man with their hit Human.
    Conti said he'd also like to have appearances by comedian Maurizio Crozza, actor/director Roberto Benigni, comedian Giorgio Panariello and actor/director Leonardo Pieraccioni.
    "Some of the suggestions are further along than others. On Crozza I say, hopefully, with sixty exclamation points".