The queen of telesales Wanna Marchi turns 80

A book and a Netflix series. Wanna Marchi, queen of teleshopping, is preparing to celebrate 80 years and ‘take back’ the scene. Once the sentence for fraud and bankruptcy has been served, the most famous TV whistleblower in Italy will blow out the candles with her daughter Stefania Nobile next to her with whom she shared her life and prison. Tomorrow, September 2, there will be no party in grand style but an intimate birthday of her, a few days after the loss of her second husband Francesco Campana who has remained with her for 35 years. A simple family dinner, away from the spotlight and controversy that will probably not fail with the revelations contained in the biography and in the four-part docu-series, both to be released on 21 September next. From the freeze-dried seaweed, to the potions against the evil eye sold with the self-styled Brazilian magician Do Nascimento, it has been a phenomenon of costume – its interlayer “All right ?!” looking straight into the room – able to charm hundreds of people with “miraculous” products and to wish misfortune and misfortune. Condemned “for having sold salt to morons who believed in it”, to use her words, the victims with their dramatic depositions in court, put an end to the factory of illusions, leaving room for poverty and humiliation. Former beautician capable, with a remarkable persuasive ability, of building an empire by leveraging the fragility and desperation of many, for twenty years – from the 1980s to the early 2000s – he was a permanent presence on television, until 2001 that marked its decline. Trials and prison have ‘held back’ her Bolognese exuberance, but once she was free she was able to reinvent herself as a bartender before and as a food blogger now. “She is suffering a lot” says her daughter Stefania, via Instagram, that she invites her to send her video greetings. We bet that soon, given her temperament, she will be able to get up again.