Divers take New Year plunge in Rome

Mister OK takes final dive following request from director Paolo Sorrentino

On 1 January in Rome crowds gather to view the annual Tuffo nel Tevere, by now one of the capital's most unusual and popular New Year’s Day traditions.

At midday, immediately after the cannons fire on the Gianicolo, daredevil divers take the 17-metre plunge off Ponte Cavour into the icy waters of the Tiber below.

This year sees the last plunge of Maurizio Palmulli, known to Romans as Mister OK, who retired last year but was coaxed into giving one final performance by Paolo Sorrentino, director of La Grande Bellezza.

The 61-year-old lifeguard, who has been the star of the show since 1989, passes the baton to Marco Fois who has participated in the New Year's dive for the last 13 years.

To watch footage of the dives see the false;" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKKIQW7nUSY">ITN website.