Can Signor Sleazy sink any lower?

His sickened wife has finally filed for divorce. A prostitute has challenged him to sue over her declaration that they slept together. Even a transsexual television presenter claims to have acted as a supplier of young girls to slake his lust.
Yet as allegations of sleaze thicken around Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, his popularity with the Italian electorate shows no sign of diminishing.
This week, his centre-right party scored a victory in provincial elections. How utterly depressing is that?
Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
transsexual Manila Gorio
Sleaze allegations: Transsexual television presenter claims to have acted as a supplier of young girls for the Italian PM
For in terms of international socio-sexual progress, Italy is still in the dark ages.
Behind his joker's smirk, priapic Berlusconi, a man who puts his own needs before everyone else's, is keeping it there. He is the kind of man who is holding an entire country to ransom - and all its women in contempt.
Can it possibly last? For how much longer can the disgraced PM continue to behave like an over-sexed waiter in a beachfront trattoria?
He makes Bill Clinton look like a boy scout with a series of schoolboy crushes. Surely the joke - not that it was ever very funny - is over by now?
Even Berlusconi's recent denials that he had hired prostitutes were rutted with the Neanderthal machismo of the preening, habitual sex pest. 'I have never paid a woman,' Berlusconi boasted to Chi magazine - which he owns.
'I never understood what the satisfaction is when you are missing the pleasure of conquest.'

Conquest? Surely the disgusting old fool cannot seriously believe that his lecherous, panting pursuit of 18-year-old models, showgirls and starlets - the type of women he favours both as candidates in the European parliament elections and at his pool parties - has anything of the natural pursuit of love about it?

 It is about as natural as a beautiful young girl being attracted to a septuagenarian with hair plugs, wandering hands and meatball-quality plastic surgery.

No wonder a trio of female Italian academics are urging the wives of world leaders to boycott next month's G8 summit in Italy.

They want the political WAGs to stay away in protest at Berlusconi's offensive attitude to women, including his sexist speeches, his crude behaviour and his comments to female rescue workers in the aftermath of the L'Aquila earthquake.

'You can give me the kiss of life any time,' he panted to one female who had spent the previous days hauling dead bodies out of the rubble. You see, even in a disaster area, he's a disaster area.

Will Sarah Brown, Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni heed the rallying call and stay away? Oh, I do hope so.

Stop posing or quit moaning, Emma

Emma Watson
Emma Watson: Bemoaning her lack of privacy
Oh to be a teenager in a mini-crini on the cover of TeenVogue! All of life's mystery and wonder ahead of you. The horrors of adolescence behind you.

Yet who plays Hermione in the Harry Potter films, seems sad at her good fortune. Not to mention glum.
Emma says that she does not have a 'burning passion' for acting and that she may give up her film career once she finishes the last Harry Potter film. Well, good for her.

She won't have to negotiate that tricky passage from successful child actor to adult, which so few manage. Emma wants to get on with ordinary life. On her own terms.
She even refused to divulge to the magazine which university she will attend from this autumn.

'I just want to keep it private for as long as I can,' she said. 'I probably sound like a paranoid nut, but I'm doing this because I want to be normal. I really want anonymity.'

One thing, though, Ems darling: If you want to be anonymous, don't do cover shoots and interviews with glossy magazines. Stay at home and worry about your pimples instead.

Emma's moans strengthen my mission to form a Central Actors Bank. In this bank, celebrities must return any acting or advertising remuneration, bonuses, royalties and prizes back to the bank the second they complain about lack of privacy.

They must pay back all the money they have taken from the public if they moan about the public interest in their careers.

You want your privacy back? We want our money back. It's a fair deal.

Nude food’s not for me

What do Katy Perry and Alan Yentob have in common? Well, one of them once said: 'I'm one per cent sexy, 99 per cent goofy.'

Sadly, this was Katy. Not wee Al in a rare moment of piercing self-awareness.

No, eating in the nude is the strange but pervicious pastime that unites the pop singer and the BBC creative director-cum-self-appointed television presenter.
Wacky Katy has just posted a picture of herself eating pizza in the bath on her Twitter page. 'I have no self-control,' she says, and lists chicken salad, Nobu's rock shrimp sashimi and Mr Chow's crispy beef salad as a few of her favourite things.
Meanwhile, kooky Yentob talks about the perils of eating in front of the television.

'One of the things about TV dinners,' he said in an interview, 'is that they can lead to spillage on one's clothing. So some people eat on precariously balanced trays. I'm better eating naked, before rinsing off with a quick shower.'

His favourites? Chips and popcorn. And a sausage, pierced with a toothpick. Yes, my thoughts exactly.

Fame at a truly terrible price

Fallen angel: Iranian Neda Agha-Soltan
Fallen angel: Iranian Neda Agha-Soltan
Should we be watching Iran's Angel of Freedom as she dies before our eyes? The final moments of a blameless life that will now last for ever?

There are many ironies here. Neda Agha-Soltan has become a martyr to the cause of democracy in Iran. Yet she was no flag-waving freedom fighter.

Though precise accounts differ, the 27-year-old philosophy student now dubbed the Angel of Freedom was most probably caught up in the riots between police and protesters on the streets of Tehran this week as she travelled back from a music lesson.

After being shot in the heart by security forces, the moments of her death were captured on a mobile phone. T
he disturbing footage has now been watched by millions on global television and on YouTube.

It makes for deeply uncomfortable viewing. See beautiful Neda lie in the road as screaming men try to assist. See the first ominous trickle of blood seep from her pretty mouth. See her terrified eyes lock onto the phone camera, apparently fully aware ofits presence.

Ponder on what her last mortal thought could have been. Was it: 'Oh no, this is going to be a 40-second clip on YouTube?'

Or was it: 'I want the world to see the reality of living in this brutal dictatorship.'

Let us hope it was the latter. And pray that even though it was one more senseless murder, hers was not a life lost in vain.
Even the Iranian government must realise now that change is coming. Tiananmen Square was over 20 years ago. Nothing can be contained in the old ways any more.

A shameful way to treat our hostages

As the bodies of two British hostages held in Iraq were handed back last week, Foreign Secretary David Miliband admitted that he and his department had failed. Good of him.

Yet the self-regarding semi-apology was scant comfort for the devastated families of Jason Swindlehurst and Jason Creswell. And hardly cheering news for relatives of the men who continue to be held.

These include Graeme Moore, whose son Peter, an IT specialist from Lincoln, was one of the five men snatched by Shi'ite fanatics in Baghdad more than two years ago.

Writing in this newspaper, Mr Moore vented his frustrations about the Government in general and the Foreign Office in particular. It made for shocking reading.

Everyone in this country knows our international policy on hostages. We don't pay ransoms. Ever. Collectively, it is easy to see that this is right. Individually, it must be agony for the families involved.

One would hope and expect that they are looked after by the relevant government authorities. Yet Mr Moore has been ignored by the Prime Minister and the Foreign Office.

Their duty of care of him was cursory, to say the least. Occasionally, some faceless bod would telephone to say they couldn't reveal anything.

Did the banana-waving Foreign Secretary ever get in touch personally? Never. Neither did Gordon Brown, who was too busy telephoning his showbusiness stars to inquire as to the health of Susan Boyle. Abysmal. Disgusting.

Ordinary people, not celebrities, need to matter more to the people who matter.

BBC have no blooming idea

Bouquets for the stars: Waste of BBC's time
Bouquets for the stars: Waste of BBC's time and money
Fascinating to know that bouquet culture is alive and well at the BBC. Newly released expenses info reveals a blossom storm of blooms sent from management to talent; a one-way trafficking in 'like-me, please!' bouquets from the suits to the stars.

There is something psychologically very strange about this. Why do BBC executives feel the need to reassure themselves by sending the likes of Jonathan Ross huge bunches of pricey flowers?

Especially after they have just agreed to give him £6million worth of taxpayers' money in fees?

If anyone should be grovellingly grateful - and on speed dial to the florists - surely it should be him, not them.

It proves once more that BBC head honchos are a bunch of starstruck inadequates who shouldn't be in charge of a fan club raffle, let alone millions of pounds worth of programming. What a bunch of weeds.

The party's over, Anthea

What next for Anathema Turner and rum covey Grant Bovey? If they slip any farther down the social ladder, they'll be sharing tins of superlager under a railway bridge with friends of no fixed abode.
Reality check needed: Anthea Turner and Grant Bovey
Reality check needed: Anthea Turner and Grant Bovey

After gatecrashing Simon Cowell's box at Royal Ascot, it seems clear that the gruesome twosome turned into Mr and Mrs Social Leprosy.

To any discerning hosts or hostesses, the couple are about as welcome as an open wound. Yet Anthea and Grant don't understand that they are Anthea and Grant. They never will.

Rachel’s better off without her frosty, dumb-brained fiance

Jilted by email? Seven weeks before her wedding? Oh, poor Rachel Hunter. Still, I guess that is what you get for serial-dating ice hockey players.

These frosty-brained lunkheads are the only sportsmen out there who can make all-in wrestlers seem like Sir Rex Harrison.

And its curious to learn that after fiance Jarret walked out on the devastated former lingerie model, she has been comforted by her darling ex-husband, the 64-year-old Rod Stewart.

Chasing a tiny leathery puck around? Give or take a consonant, isn't that Penny Lancaster's job?

  • During a trial in Los Angeles, a Hollywood madam has just revealed that she rents out highclass hookers at £30,000 a night. What on earth do they do for that kind of money? Don't answer that. I really don't want to know. Just a thought. Are there gigolos out there who charge the same? Of course not. Women just aren't that stupid. Or desperate.