It was a prank too far for Serbian PM Ivica Dacic, who has ordered an inquiry into how he ended up in a TV interview with a former Playboy model who at one point uncrosses her legs to reveal a lack of underwear a la Sharon Stone in the film "Basic Instinct".
The video, which has been viewed on YouTube almost 3m times, shows the PM's eyes wandering downwards momentarily and eyebrows raising as the "presenter" makes her play. However, the PM continues talking and displays a certain sangfroid not normally associated with the former spokesman for dictator Slobodan Milosevic.
Dacic's national security adviser was less phlegmatic. "The whole case will be fully investigated," Ivica Toncev told Blic. "This was Serbia being mocked, not the prime minister. The prime minister's office will not let this go unpunished."
Serbs appear divided over the prank, but many have expressed similar outrage. Other commentators complain that it reflects the dubious mix of politics and low-brow pop culture in Serbia, a phenomenon that emerged during the wars and sanctions of the 1990s as federal Yugoslavia collapsed.
In the wake of the fuss, the episode, set-up and filmed by a private Serbian production company, was not aired. The trailer for pranks show Nemoguca Misija [Mission Impossible] has been removed from the company's website.