'Did you call Merkel an 'unf**kable lard-arse'?'

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Silvio Berlusconi being interviewed by Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight. Screengrab: YouTube
12:51 CEST+02:00
Jeremy Paxman, the BBC’s hard-nosed interviewer, asked Italy’s gaffe-prone former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi whether he called German Chancellor Angela Merkel an “unf**kable lard-arse” in an interview that will be aired on Tuesday night.

Berlusconi, who is currently undertaking community service at a home for Alzheimer’s patients for his tax fraud conviction, reportedly said Merkel was a “culona inchiavabile” (unf**kable lard-arse) during a wiretapped conversation with a man accused of supplying prostitutes to the former prime minister’s "bunga bunga" parties in July 2011.

He can be seen in the trailer below looking awkward when Paxman asks him if the reports were true. The full Newsnight interview will be aired on BBC 2 on Tuesday night at 9.00pm GMT.

Berlusconi, 77, made several outrageous gaffes during his tenure as prime minister, including calling President Barack Obama "suntanned” upon his election in 2008.

In 2009, he sparked controversy when he quipped to a German television station that the 17,000 left homeless by the L'Aquila earthquake should view it as a camping trip.

And during a visit to the New York Stock Exchange in 2003, he touted the benefits of doing business in Italy, including fewer communists and beautiful secretaries. 

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Paxman is stepping down after 25 years with the BBC’s flagship news programme this summer.

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