Today we know and respect Maria De Filippi as one of the dominant figures on Italian TV. A true champion, who with her personal style and her intuitions has forever changed the way of doing television. With Friends has actually introduced the talent show in Italy. But apparently at the beginning Maria De Filippi did not really want to know about the conduct of the program.
Friends of Maria De Filippi has been on the air since 2001as a talent conceived and conducted by Maria De Filippi. Not everyone remembers, however, that talent was born as an evolution of a talk dedicated to young people, wanted by Maurizio Costanzo and curated by De Filippi. That program debuted in June 1992 with the conduct of the Milanese actress and monologist Lella Costa. But already in September of the same year, the management was entrusted to Maria, who at the time was not even the main author.
The talk show was broadcast every Saturday afternoon on Channel 5. Then, transforming itself into talent, the format moved to Italia 1 and became a flagship program for both day-time and prime time. With twenty-one editions to the credittill today Friends is the longest-running talent show on Italian television.
Interview from MoreoverLella Costa has unveiled some interesting anecdotes about Maria De Filippi’s beginnings as host and of the program Friends, revealing how Costanzo’s wife absolutely did not want to lead him. Maria, at the time, was connected to the program only as collaborator of the texts. She was not the main creator and author of it (in the first edition, the main author of the talk was Andrea Soldani), and she would never have imagined having to expose herself to the cameras. But when Lella Costa became pregnant and she asked Mediaset to be exempted from the conduct, Maurizio Costanzo immediately thought that the show should be entrusted to Maria. There was a small problem: De Filippi just didn’t want her.
The reluctant presenter. Friendswhen Maria De Filippi did not want to consider running it
Here is the story of the Costa: “When I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter, I told Maria that I was unable to lead the new season. Maria spent the summer phoning me, telling me that: among the names they proposed to replace me there was none to convince her“. According to Costa, Maria was right desperatebecause she was worried about the fate of the show she was collaborating on.
Eventually the producers couldn’t find any suitable new presenters. Thus it was that Maurizio Costanzo, who at the time was the producer of Friendsasked his partner De Filippi to take on theburden of management. De Filippi, at the time, was practically an unknown: her name was known only as a companion of Maurizio Costanzo and he had no artistic experience.
“She did not accept lightly”Declared Lella Costa. “She really didn’t want to lead him“. She didn’t feel right, Maria. And yet that was her fate. Thanks to Amici she would have established herself as the new face of Italian TV, and she would have invented a revolutionary and engaging format. Then they would come Men and women And You’ve Got Mail. started her career that year after year has exploded to make her one of the most popular conductors on television.
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