Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo was a special guest on TVM’s new Friday night show Mustaċċuni last weekend as it returned in a new format after a two-week absence.
Presented by Ron Briffa and Ray Calleja, Mustaċċuni got off to a very rocky start.
It started out as a bootcamp-like competition among Maltese celebrities, featuring a drill instructor screaming blue murder at them.
However, it faced a strong public backlash, with several people expressing their dislike for the drill instructor and stating they preferred Serataron, the popular Friday night show it replaced.
The feedback clearly left its mark on Mustaċċuni’s producers, with the second episode reduced to a brief half-hour show before it went completely off air for two weeks.
When it returned last Friday, it looked more like Serataron – set on a single stage, with contestants playing games against each other and a band playing musical interludes.
Ron, the host of Serataron, was there too, but this time with Ray Calleja as a co-host.
And then, in the midst of all the fun and games, Clayton Bartolo and Film Commissioner Johann Grech were brought onto the stage to discuss the upcoming Malta Film Awards, which the Commission and PBS are organising.
Grech said his goal is to create a “world-class film industry”, complete with a sound stage that he said will encourage international productions to shoot entire films on the island.
Bartolo showered Grech with praise.
“He gives me a headache sometimes but he’s the person the film industry needs… if you don’t dream, you won’t achieve.”
They exited the stage to the soundtrack of Captian Phillips, which was partially filmed in Malta, with Ray Calleja joking that he was even considering playing the Gladiator soundtrack as they walked in.
The interview is likely to raise a number of eyebrows, with the Opposition recently launching a campaign to scrutinise PBS for all signs of pro-government slant.
Did you watch Mustaċċuni last weekend?