Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has dispelled rumours that he has had a facelift by revealing the real reason behind his new good looks.
"The simple truth is that my brain is growing larger and therefore my facial skin has been stretched a bit," he told reporters.
He said that cerebral matter in his cranium was growing at such an exponential rate that his brain was starting to push not only against the back of his eyes but also his cheekbones.
And the Italian prime minister added that the profundity of thought required by an eminent world leader such as himself meant it was "only natural" that his brain should expand.
"I wake up every morning and marvel about the incredible things on my mind," he revealed. "For example, this morning I had to spend a good three hours working out AC Milan's best formation for the upcoming derby with Inter."
Berlusconi also said that persistent financial brain-teasers were challenging his thinking capacity.
"I have thousands of invoices to pay off, ranging from Swiss plastic surgeons who I've never met to crooked judges wanting an advance on their bribes," he said. "It never stops."
Leading brain surgeon Dr Hans Kramer said that while Mr Berlusconi should not worry too much about his brain growth, he would have to have regular check-ups and be more cautious.
"There is a chance he could sneeze violently one day and lose half his brain cells," he warned.