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“NATIONAL MIKE”

Global Host and Global Formats inEarly Italian Television

Chiara Ferrari

Ten years after its foundation in 1944, the Italian public broadcaster RAI aired its first official show on January 3, 1954. The program, Arrivi e Partenze (“Arrivals and Departures”), was broadcast from Rome International Airport (and a few other major airports and ports throughout the peninsula) and featured a series of interviews with contemporary celebrities—both Italian and foreign—who were either arriving in or leaving Italy. Mike Bongiorno, a young Italian American journalist who had previously worked from the U.S.A. as a correspondent for EIAR (the radio broadcaster from which RAI developed), hosted the show.

Considering the cinematic legacy of ...

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