LATEST: A TV movie celebrating the life of the late POPE JOHN PAUL II has become Italy's biggest hit of recent years.

The two-part drama KAROL: THE MAN WHO BECAME POPE charts the life of the late pontiff, whose real name was Karol Wojtyla, from his childhood in Poland to becoming the head of the Catholic Church.

More than 13 million people tuned in to watch the second part of the film, which was screened on Monday (18APR05) and Tuesday (19APR05) - the largest audience for an Italian drama for three years.

Polish actor Piotr Adamczyk, who played the Pope in the movie, says, "We were trying not to copy Karol Wojtyla. Not to copy his gestures, his voice - but to give symbols to try to touch the fragments of his great personality."

Pope John Paul II died on 2 April (05) aged 84. German Cardinal JOSEPH RATZINGER has since succeeded him as the new Pope.

21/04/2005 13:35