Silvio Berlusconi’s secret of staying power - herbal tea

London: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has revealed the diet secret behind his remarkable staying power – not just politically, but even otherwise.

The irrepressible 74-year-old playboy announced on Thursday that herbal tea formed the basis of a special diet that has enabled him to lose 4kg (9lb) in little more than a week, reports the Independent.

The regimen appears so effective that the opposition La Repubblica newspaper suggested on Thursday that the Prime Minister now looked all “flesh and bones”.

Mr Berlusconi revealed the details behind his recent weight loss during a dinner on Sunday at a top Milan restaurant after watching his football club, AC Milan, beat their arch rivals Juventus.

Typically eschewing false modesty, the conservative tycoon told fellow diners: “Thanks to this diet I’m back in great form.” He then requested “something light” to eat, according to Chi magazine.

Mr Berlusconi is said to be concerned about the extra pounds he puts on as a result of steroid injections needed for his neck pain.