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Sanremo song fest garners record audience

Music marathon captivates 12 mn TV viewers for 5 nights

18 February, 14:59
Sanremo song fest garners record audience (ANSA) - Sanremo, February 18 - The 63rd edition of the Sanremo song festival garnered bumper TV viewing figures and high praise for hosts Fabio Fazio and comedian Luciana Littizzetto despite pre-fest fears they might impinge on the election campaign. The five-evening pop-song competition and extravaganza captured an average audience of more than 11.9 million viewers, the best achieved since 2001.

The average audience share during each evening never fell below 42%, and reached a peak of 66.6% as the festival came to a close on Saturday night as former X Factor winner Marco Mengoni won with L'Essenziale (The Essential). Antonio Maggio, another X Factor graduate, was best young artist with 'Mi servirebbe sapere' (It Would Help Me To Know). A special award was given to television icon Pippo Baudo, whose broadcasting career has stretched more than five decades, and who has had key roles in numerous Sanremo festivals - often as show host or artistic director - since he first hosted the high-profile entertainment marathon in 1968. Italian media lauded Fazio and Littizzetto's light touch, irony and respectful approach, claiming they had revolutionised presentational styles which in the past ranged from starchy to corny and sometimes flirted with outright vulgarity.

The pair, who are stalwarts of a long-running left-leaning talk show, steered well clear of political references ahead of the February 24-25 general election, although comedian Maurizio Crozza was nearly shouted down by supporters of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi.