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Once when Berlusconi paid the studio a visit, he noticed the miserable surroundings; "Next day," Fede says, "eight gardeners arrived and created this wonderful little oasis for me. Reports that Berlusconi has kept him a space in his private mausoleum are, he insists, "a joke". UNITED STATES: KATIE COURIC, 49 Programme: CBS Evening News, CBS Audience size: average 7.2 m; 13m for Couric's debut two weeks ago Couric is the genial, much-fetishised morning host brought in to give a new lease of life to CBS Evening News, the flagship programme which has slumped to last place among network news shows - which are a format in steep decline because of competition from cable and the internet.Although she worked briefly as a Pentagon correspondent and covered the Gulf War, Couric is hardly a byword for hard news - her greatest claim to fame is to have undergone an on-camera colonoscopy to publicise cancer prevention.' And she says, 'My head and my heart.' Because that's what I've learned in the foxhole: What gets you through life is strength of character and strength of spirit and love.""When I had my children and I felt that type of love, which I know you understand and every mom out there understands, it made me understand that there was a purity to love.

One critic has described her, accurately, as "America's cutie-pie" - which might explain why the CBS camera crews love her legs and her smile as much as what comes out of her mouth. INDIA: RAJDEEP SARDESAI, 41 Programme: CNN-IBN, India Tonight Audience: 10m Rajdeep Sardesai got so big he started his own channel.

As well as anchoring the nightly news, he takes over the anchor's chair for major stories - and is pretty much the biggest name in Indian television news.

He made his name with his reports on the 2002 Gujarat massacres for the private NDTV 24-hour news channel, and as anchor of its premier political programme, The Big Fight - then quit the channel to start up a rival.

He got the backing of CNN for a new joint venture, CNN-IBN.

But Ms Mbele, a trained economist, can be counted among those very few.

Against all odds at the state-owned SABC, which like many other African state broadcasters generally parrots the official line, Ms Mbele is a breath of fresh air.

Captains of industry, politicians, activists and a variety of people brought into the studio for Ms Mbele's show all have one thing in common: they leave the studio sweating.

That's down to her engaging yet assertive questioning, an approach that has earned her the accolade of "the nation's influential informer".

A holder of a Master's degree in Development Studies from the University of London and a Political Science degree from the University of Cape Town, Ms Mbele has a grasp of current affairs that distinguishes her from the ordinary news reader. JAPAN: TETSUYA CHIKUSHI, 71 Programme: News 23, TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) Audience: 10m Chikushi was headhunted at the tail-end of his career in newspaper and magazine publishing to anchor News 23 in 1989.

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