Oddly Enough

Body of Italian TV quizmaster snatched from grave

ROME (Reuters) - The body of Mike Bongiorno, who was Italy’s top quiz show host for more than 50 years and a close friend of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, was stolen from his grave, officials said on Tuesday.

Bongiorno, who died in Sept 2009 at the age of 85, was buried in Arona near Milan. A pensioner who regularly visits the cemetery alerted police that the grave had been violated and emptied. Italian media said no ransom had been demanded so far.

Bongiorno, a fixture in Italian television since its first broadcast in the 1950s, helped Berlusconi launch commercial television in the 1970s.

It is not the first time that the body of a famous personality has been snatched in Italy.

In 2001, in a cemetery near the one where Bongiorno was buried, the corpse of an investment banker Enrico Cuccia was stolen and a ransom demanded. The thieves were identified and arrested.