Taghna Lkoll at TVM: the Balzan siblings

Published: November 9, 2014 at 3:14pm
Saviour Balzan's only sister, Mariella Dimech, a psychotherapist who hosts the mental health show Dwarna on TVM

Saviour Balzan’s only sister, Mariella Dimech, a psychotherapist who hosts the mental health show Dwarna on TVM

Saviour Balzan, who hosts the TVM show Reporter, which nobody watches

Saviour Balzan, who hosts the TVM show Reporter, which nobody watches

Moira Delia, who hosts Saviour Balzan's food show on TVM,  Gourmet

Moira Delia, who hosts Saviour Balzan’s food show on TVM, Gourmet

Saviour Balzan, 52, has just the one sibling, Mariella Dimech, 50, but between them those two have three prime-time shows on the public broadcaster TVM.

Mrs Dimech, who needed a psychotherapist but became one instead after a life that is best described as ‘interesting’, is as tiring and obnoxious as her brother. But where he is all gloom and doom and misery, she wipes herself out pretending to be perky and bouncy and positive when her real nature is as hostile and aggressive as her brother’s.

She hosts a mental health show called Dwarna, in which her brother has never featured, while he hosts the interview show Reporter, which nobody watches even though he thought he was going to be the new Lou Bondi and all it would take was a shift to prime-time. Meanwhile, his company has been given a contract to produce a food show called Gourmet, featuring the yawningly over-exposed Moira Delia.

Could this be why he never criticises the government? Surely not. It’s because he thinks Joseph Muscat is absolutely fantastic. It could also be because his best friend (and lawyer) is deputy Labour leader Toni Abela, while his other best friend is Judge Wen Zhou Mintoff.

Oh, and he was raised by Mintoffians and it almost always comes out in the end.

18 Comments Comment

  1. Butterfly says:

    Nobody can be like Lou Bondi except Lou Bondi himself

  2. Alexander Ball says:

    Plenty of tips on what to do with 200 kilos of mutton.

  3. AE says:

    It would be interesting to know how much they earn for these programmes? That might put things into context

  4. canon says:

    Imagine Saviour Balzan wearing suspenders.

  5. Wheels within wheels says:

    The Balzan siblings’ talk shows are the cheapest form of television.

    Saviour used to be furious that Where’s Everybody used to take half of PBS budget in programming. He had a point. But I suppose it was really ghajra bazwija that it was not him. It is OK now that he is earning money for jam.

  6. scott brown says:

    I do not watch TVM but if Mrs. Dimech has such a show, may I suggest to her to visit Mount Carmel Hospital and get first hand experience of the degrading service being provided by the authorities.

    Maybe then she can also consult the Mental Health Act and invite the Mental Health Commissioner on her show.

    It would be nice to know why till this day patients have no privacy whatsoever in most of the wards, why visiting time is still limited to two hours a day, why international conventions and WHO standards are being breached day in and day out, why some basic facilities are so scarce within most wards.

    She may also invite the CEO who in turn can take a break from his commitments in Court and be reminded that the role of CEO carries also responsibilities not just a pay package.

    • Beingpressed says:

      Mount Carmel is not in the public eye. God knows when they last spent any money there. It’s a horrible place.

      Anton Grech does a fantastic job along with most of his staff both at Mater Dei Hospital and Mount Carmel Hospital but give him more money and better facilities. They’re needed.

      • scott brown says:


        to receive visitors in private within all reasonable times – as required by article 3 (1) (s) of the Mental Health Act does not cost money, but only requires some good will from whoever is responsible especially some nurses.

        to be allowed near a patient’s bed to tend for his/her needs does not cost money but may make a carer feel useful in such difficult circumstances.

        given the right to full respect and dignity without the need to be treated in a 6 bedded ward is not the end of the world to provide.

        the right to a safe and hygienic care does not cost much either.

        btw – Dr. Grech is not CEO but Superintendent of Mount Carmel.

  7. hmm says:

    Thank you for stating the obvious regarding Mariella Dimech, I can’t stick her pontificating like a saint in that stupid voice she puts on. As you well described her life was/is rather interesting and colourful what irks me is that everyone seems to fail to remember or notice the obvious.

    • Marija says:

      I agree. I always used to think that it was just me who did not see eye to eye with her.

      Now I know.

    • Rita Camilleri says:

      I had the misfortune of being in the same cafe as this Mrs Dimech, and believe me it was not a pleasant thing, besides having to hear her silly voice with her make believe posh accent, she was bragging about this, that and the other.

      We had no option but to leave as we couldn’t take her silliness any more. Xi dwejjaq ta’ nies.

    • Wheels within Wheels says:

      I really don’t think that the point is whether Mariella Dimech has had an interesting or colourful life.

      If she has reinvented herself, good on her – though it would be far better she comes clean on that especially since she is presenting such a programme.

      Nor is it even relevant if one thinks she is a nice person or not. That is a matter of personal opinion and I’m sure her friends like her a lot.

      The real issue is whether due process was followed in her obtaining her television slot. If it was, good luck to her. If it was not, shame on her and I think her brother too.

      If this is the case, they are nothing more than another person grabbing what they can.

  8. Jonathan B says:

    The Broadcasting Authority used to be hyper-vigilant about footage in news and documentaries which gave “free” adverts to shops or brands by casually showing them in shot.

    Shots showing a reporter doing a stand-upper with a shop sign clearly visible behind his/her head were pounced upon if aired.

    TV stations often blurred them if the cameraman had, for some reason, not taken the shot to avoid them.

    Saviour Balzan’s TVM promo for his show Reporter is in breach of the law, but neither Reno Bugeja and even less so, the Broadcasting Authority, care.

    The promo shows Balzan standing in front of shelves with rows of bound Malta Today papers, with the name clearly visible down the spines.

    While he is meant to be advertising Reporter, the visual image instead advertises his newspaper, and in TV, the visuals are stronger than the spoken word.

    If PBS cared about pushing its programmes, it would insist that he uses the Reporter name and logo and not the name of his newspaper in the promotional material.

    The BA is also sound asleep as this is clear surreptitious advertising.

    There is a well-established principle of consumer protection that advertising must be recognisable.

    A viewer must know if a programme is trying to influence his or her buying behaviour.

    In this case, it is worse because you are deceived into thinking that the advert is for the TVM show Reporter when it is really for Malta Today.

    In 2008, the Broadcasting Authority had issued clarifications about the law regarding surreptitious advertising in programmes. Kevin Aquilina, who was CEO at the time, and who was much more vigilant than the current incumbent Pierre Cassar (a former sports contributor for The Times)
    had specified:

    “Following a consultation exercise carried out in summer 2008, the Broadcasting Authority has clarified the rules on surreptitious advertising and separation contained respectively in paragraphs 4 and 9 of the Third Schedule of the Broadcasting Act. These rules read as follows: “4. Advertising and teleshopping shall be readily distinguishable as such and kept quite separate from the other parts of the programme service by optical or acoustic means…” and “9. Surreptitious advertising shall be prohibited.”

    Up to 2010, the Broadcasting Authority used to monitor for surreptitious advertising. See:
    Malta Today know about this as they had reported it:

    But with Taghna Lkoll Balzan now back at PBS, neither PBS nor the BA seem to be interested.

    This might interest you as well, as it shows Pierre Cassar knows about the law too, as well he should:


  9. miss marple says:

    Scott Brown’s assertions are sadly very true.

    There are more resources available to Mount Carmel Hospital than one would think. It is the management of these resources that is abysmal.

    There are a number of professionals who can choose to simply stay away from the hospital and get away with it.

    Those who decide to grace the place of work with their presence are free to choose whether they feel like spending time with patients or ensconced in their office together with the computer.

    Their pay cheque can just as well be flushed down the drain; fat lot of good they are doing to the people they are supposed to be treating.

    Thankfully the sum total of committed professionals is greater than the number of bummers flopping around.

    Everybody, including the top administrators, knows who these people are and nobody, but really NOBODY gives a damn.

    I am convinced that if there is any form of divine justice these individuals will have a lot to answer for.

    The ones who bear the brunt of this criminal behaviour are the patients and, at times to an even greater extent, their carers. They are left out in the cold and if they scream in pain it is a very silent scream.

  10. Joe Jones says:

    yawningly??? over-exposed Moira Delia?

    I have to strongly disagree.

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