China / Society

Attention is not a joke for comedian

By Zhang Yi (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-30 07:53

China's most well-known comedian Zhao Benshan will reportedly attend the country's top political consultative body's annual conference despite speculation of his possible fall from grace.

Chendu-based Huaxi Metropolis Daily reported that Zhao, a skit and sitcom actor, is working on his proposal for the coming Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in March, dismissing rumors that he is likely to face an investigation.

A wave of allegations regarding Zhao and speculation that he was involved with political scandals have set tongues wagging about the close link between entertainment and politics, as his easy rapport with politicians is known to all.

Zhao drew attention after his TV series were canceled in September. He was absent from a central government forum with President Xi Jinping on literature and art held on Oct 15 last year.

He also grabbed media attention when he reportedly asked how to withdraw the purchase of a 17-seat aircraft worth 200 million yuan ($32 million).

Rising from a small player in a folk art group in an unknown city in Northeast China's Liaoning province, Zhao became a household name at the age of 33 after a comedy performance at China's biggest annual TV event.

He has remained the mainstay of the gala, produced hit TV series and built a giant entertainment conglomerate, accumulating millions of dollars over the past 20 years.

Scores of stars have fallen since a nationwide anti-graft campaign began in late 2012.

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