Pope Francis to be guest of Italy TV talk show

News in Italy: Pontiff to appear on Italian television show.

Pope Francis is to be a guest of Che tempo che fa, the popular Italian television chat show presented by Fabio Fazio, on Sunday 6 February.

The news was announced on social media by the TV programme which will air on state broadcaster RAI 3 at 20.00.

Fazio wrote on Twitter: "With deep emotion and with immense joy, we announce that on Sunday His Holiness Pope Francis will be on Che tempo che fa".

Although rare, it is not the first time that a pope has participated in an Italian TV talk show, reports Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

On 13 October 1998, John Paul II spoke live by telephone during an episode of Porta a Porta dedicated to the 20 years of his pontificate, to say "thank you", taking the show's conductor Bruno Vespa by surprise.

Over the last year Che tempo che fa has made international news due to its guests which have included former US president Barack Obama and American pop icon Lady Gaga.