Mike Bongiorno

Mike Bongiorno dies.

Mike Bongiorno well known Italian television presenter and quiz master who made quiz shows popular in Italy in the 1950s and 1960s  has died aged 85.

Born in New York to an Italian mother and an Italian-American father, Bongiorno moved to Italy when still a child and became an institution in the Italian broadcasting scene.

He was one of the first high profile presenters to defect from Rai to privately-owned Canale 5 and continued to present programmes well into old age.

Among his best known programmes were Lascia o raddoppia.

Many will remember him for his trademark Allegria! at the start of his shows.

Sky Italia said Tuesday that Bongiorno died suddenly of a heart attack in Monte Carlo. Bongiorno was working on a show for Sky.

The ANSA news agency said Bongiorno died from a heart attack. It quoted Premier Silvio Berlusconi as saying Italy had lost a great TV personality and he had lost a friend.

Nicknamed “The Quiz King,” Bongiorno was of American origin but made his name in Italy. He was one of Italy’s most enduring and beloved television personalities.

In the 1950s and 1960s, he popularized quiz shows through a series of successful programs on state-run RAI. Bongiorno was also the host of countless other shows, including a popular annual song fest in San Remo.

Watch this video of Vittorio Sgarbi and Mike Bongiorno.

Post your respects on Facebook Mike Bongiorno

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