«After the stroke they never called me on TV again. Berlusconi helped me, Lorella Cuccarini always by my side”

Marco Columbro, one of the most beloved faces of Italian television in the 1980s and 1990s, invented morning TV together with Silvio Berlusconi,…

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Marco Columbro, one of the most beloved faces of Italian television in the 1980s and 1990s, invented morning TV together with Silvio Berlusconi, becoming a character enjoyed by millions of viewers. Kind, polite and always professional, Columbro was a gentleman of the small screen. However, his television career came to a drastic halt in 2001 due to a stroke from which he recovered perfectly. Since then no one has looked for him for other programmes, even though in reality he has been hosting a program on TV for five years.

At 73 he has lived many lives, from presenter to theater actor, through philosophy, air conditioning advertisements, an upcoming book resulting from a long spiritual search and the management of a hotel in Val D’Orcia. In an interview with Republic he remembered them all, without ever forgetting the affection of a public that still supports him today.

Farewell to the scenes

Marco Columbro himself is unable to give an explanation for his sudden disappearance from generalist television, after having reached heights of success contained in the cover of “Sorrisi e Canzoni tv” on 5 January 1992, when he was awarded the Telegatto. Alongside him, Silvio Berlusconi, Enzo Biagi, Alberto Tomba, Gino Paoli, Roberto Benigni and Francesco Cossiga. «You can see that he had to go this way – he says without rancor -. A year of absence made me perceive myself as dead, even if I wasn’t dead at all and fortunately I’m not.” Yet the lure of the small screen has never abandoned him: «For five years I have hosted a program called Leader, on the Business 24 broadcaster. I interview entrepreneurs». Columbro also managed other businesses, such as his hotel in Val d’Orcia, the Locanda Vesuna, and dedicated himself to writing. «A book of mine will be released at Christmas, The Awakening of Parsifal, the result of 45 years of spiritual research against dogmatism and fideism». Despite his absence from generalist television, Marco Columbro has maintained a strong bond with the public: «They still stop me on the street, they love me very much and I can also explain this to a certain point, given all the time that has passed. The affection of these people makes me understand that I have done a good job.”

Silvio Berlusconi and Lorella Cuccarini

Reflecting on his long career and personal relationships, Marco Columbro spoke fondly of Silvio Berlusconi: «We were brotherly friends, and I think back to Silvio with joy. In the most difficult moments he helped me a lot, but it wasn’t enough to get me back on the air. He now had other priorities, especially politics. But I know he tried. And there are other things that are not appropriate to say, ”he reminded him. Columbro also worked for years with Lorella Cuccarini, a «formidable professional and true friend, one of the few people in show business who hadn’t forgotten me after my illness».

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