Veteran actor Terence Hill is leaving the long-running television series Don Matteo. He has played the lead role for more than 20 years.
Hill first appeared on Italian television screens as Don Matteo Bondini in January 2000.
Don Matteo is a priest in the town of Gubbio, then Spoleto in Umbria. He is a wise, helpful character skilled at investigating local crime stories, in collaboration with his Carabiniere friend, Antonio Cecchini. Cecchini is played by comedian Nino Frassica.
Popular TV series
The popular TV series went on to become one of the most successful and long-lived on Italian state broadcaster Rai1.
Now, after 22 years, 13 seasons and 259 episodes, Terence Hill has said goodbye to the beret-wearing priest and his trusty bicycle.
The 82-year-old actor filmed his last episode in Spoleto where he received a send-off from the cast and production team. The ten episodes in the 13th season of Don Matteo will be broadcast on Rai1 in 2022, probably starting in January as in previous seasons.
Hill was born Mario Girotti in Venice in 1939. He starred in spaghetti westerns alongside the late Bud Spencer. The duo had a huge hit with the comedy Western They Call Me Trinity (1971).
New lead character
According to La Stampa newspaper, the new lead character will be Don Massimo. 50-year-old Italian actor Raoul Bova will take the role. Reportedly, he will swap Matteo’s bike for a motorbike.
But how will the priest-detective leave the stage? We’ll just have to watch to find out!