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Germany

TV Host Offends Catholic Sensibilities

Germany's Catholic Church is upset after talk show host Anke Engelke, the reigning queen of late night television, parodied Pope John Paul II trying to blow his birthday candles out. The weekly magazine Focus reports that Andreas Herzig from the Hamburg Archbishopric described her send-up of the Pope, who suffers from Parkinson's Disease, as "shabby". He apparently went on to call for a boycott of the comedienne's nightly show broadcast on Sat 1 and said that Engelke's predecessor Harald Schmidt "had never stooped to this level." Ratings show that Anke Late Night is failing to attract as many viewers as The Harald Schmidt Show, which was discontinued late last year when the star unexpectedly resigned.