Oscar winner ROBERTO BENIGNI shocked Italians watching Saturday's (15OCT05) evening news broadcast by performing an impromptu striptease live on air as a publicity stunt for his new film THE TIGER AND THE SNOW.

The 52-year-old actor was invited on the current affairs programme to discuss the highly anticipated release of the romantic comedy about the war in Iraq.

But producers were astonished when he unbuttoned his shirt and draped it over the newsreader's shoulders.

Prior to his striptease, Benigni had already hijacked the opening credits of the show by jumping behind the newscaster and shouting, "Berlusconi has resigned" - a reference to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.