RTHK suspending political satire again

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 September, 2005, 12:00am

The embattled but popular political satire series Headliner will be suspended again later this week amid a series of programme changes, RTHK says.

But the government-funded broadcaster rejected claims the decision was politically motivated, saying it planned to resume the show.

'It's just a usual programme break. The programme will definitely come back,' said Kit Wu Wing-kit, head of RTHK's public and current affairs section (television).

The weekly current affairs show resumed in July after a short break. Former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa and former Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference standing committee member Xu Simin have criticised it as being in 'bad taste' and 'weird'.

Mr Wu said the break was part of a programme relaunch later this month, which includes new series on outstanding Chinese figures, the Chinese film industry and the coming World Trade Organisation meeting in Hong Kong.

Like all other TV programmes, Headliner was also subject to reshuffling due to changing circumstances, he said.

'There is no question of our suffering from more and more restrictions. Headliner has a history of 16 years and it's not the first time it's been temporarily suspended.'

Mr Wu said he hoped people would not see it as some sort of conspiracy.

He said the break would also allow preparation for a better comeback, tentatively scheduled for February.

Subject to possible changes, the new series will have at least 23 episodes, compared to 10 at present, according to Mr Wu.