Let’s not forget Luciano Rispoli, that Calabrian from Reggio who is a piece of television history


By John

«Words, words, words, always words, measured and of great civilization». Those pronounced by Luciano Rispoli, TV monument, together with the parable of his human and professional experience, are captured in a book that is both memory and testimony of the man and his creative talent, but also of a piece of Italy, of the history of television itself and of how we were . He wrote it for 90 years since birth by Luciano Rispoli (Reggio Calabria, 12 July 1932 – Rome, 26 October 2016) Mariano Sabatini, journalist, writer and TV author, and, moreover, pupil and collaborator of Rispoli for whom Fiorello, in the last episode of “VivaRaiplay”, had relaunched Sabatini’s old idea of ​​naming a Rai studio after Luciano Rispoli .

And for Rispoli– Calabrian from Reggio, but what he lived with his family from 1946 to 1952 in Soverato – Sabatini (Flaiano prize for the novel «L’inganno dell’ippocastano», Salani 2016) had a real stroke of lightning when, at the age of fourteen, he waited every evening for «Parola mia», the television quiz program that had made the Italian language a show, initiating generations of young people – and not only – to the knowledge and love for our language.
Together with the parlor of “Flying Carpet” for Tmc, “Parola mia” was the ingenious and cultured format (the linguist Gian Luigi Beccaria was a regular presence) that brought into the Italian home that respectable man with a nasal accent who expressed the best of a TV aimed at cultural promotion (Rispoli was also director of the Rai Education Department).

But what Luciano Rispoli was, his looking ahead, the many formats he created, starting with his pioneering action through the Radio telesquadre together with Enzo Tortora, Renato Tagliani, Silvio Noto (we went around Italy in the 1960s on stage-buses to organize street shows wearing Rai overalls, to induce people to subscribe to Rai) up to the successful radio broadcast «Chiamate Roma 3131» (he understood first of all the importance of the telephone to communicate with people), from “Piccola limelight” with which he appeared on television screens for the first time to the memorable “Game of trades”, from the first talk show with “L’guest o’clock” to first cooking show of the small screen, or “Breakfast at Studio 7”, passes in this book “certainly not exhaustive – writes Sabatini – of Rispoli’s long career”.

A volume that is also a “collation of radio and television experiences”, with references to unforgettable facts, plots and people, and at the bottom splendid photos of the Rispoli family. Certainly a dutiful acknowledgment for the one Sabatini considers “his elective father”, for «giving Luciano what has often not been recognized to him, receiving much, of course, although not as much as he should have», but not a hagiography of this bourgeois from the reserved private life and with great communication skills, whose tireless creative passion is highlighted, without neglecting “to point out the gray areas, the rigidities, the fragilities”.

It would be long to remember his sixty-year career since he joined Rai in 1954 after a competition for radio commentators. Many characters “discovered” and launched by the man whom Sabatini defines as a “diviner of other people’s talent” (to Raffaella Carrà he gave the first radio program and a heavy tape recorder with which he went around recording interviews), having Rispoli “discovered” and launched many characters, from Paolo Villaggio to Paolo Limiti, from Gianni Boncompagni to Maria Giovanna Elmi, from Rita Forte (thanks to whom he became “uncle Luciano”) to Roberta Capua, from Mario Lubrano to Paola Saluzzi, Rosanna Lambertucci and many others.