Profiles of contenders Angelino Alfano and Mario Monti, one from Sicily's poor south, the other from the rich north.
Mamma mia! That's just what we need: another Italian running Italy. Look what happened last time.
Remember when those chaps ran the biggest empire in the world? No, me neither. But they did, believe me. The Roman Empire, it was called. It had a right mixed bag of emperors, some good, some very, very bad. Remember Nero and Caligula? No, me neither. They were very bad emperors. Berlusconi was cast from the same mould. But the Roman Empire had some pretty good emperors too. In fact, a group of five of them is actually known as the Five Good Emperors. And guess what? Of those five good emperors, only two were born in Italy!
It's time to think outside the box, Italia! You can sort out this mess, but, let's face it, you're going to need some outside help. It's time for you to put pride to one side and, for the sake of western civilisation, pick a non-Italian as Prime Minister. Someone intelligent, charismatic and incorruptable. Someone who will stand up to the French, has their head screwed on, has an excellent knowledge of history, and knows how to balance a budget.
Now I know what you're thinking, but I'm afraid I have other commitments at the moment.
If you want my advice, it seems to me you could do far worse than to elect Dr Alice Roberts as your very first Primera Ministra:
TV anatomy's loss would be international finance's gain.
We're in this together, Italy. This one is on me. You can keep the customary referral fee. I appreciate you're a little strapped for cash at the moment.
(Incidentally, her name is pronounced A-LISS, not A-LEE-CHAY.)
STOP PRESS [10-Nov-2011, 13:16 GMT]: In related news, Greece has just chosen a new Prime Minister in the shape of former European Central Bank vice-president Lucas Papademos. No, me neither. I can't help feeling that this is a huge mistake. Personally, I would have gone for the Antiques Roadshow's Fiona Bruce.