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TV program 'Readers' rekindles passion for literature across China

By Li Ping | | Updated: 2017-02-22 09:17

TV program 'Readers' rekindles passion for literature across China

CCTV host Dong Qing hosts her new TV program Readers. [Photo/official Sina Weibo account of Readers]

Cultural TV programs have experienced a come-back at the start of the Chinese New Year. Two weeks after the conclusion of the hit show Chinese Poetry Competition, a new program, Readers, has become a nationwide sensation. Airing on China Central Television (CCTV) over the weekend, it is sparking fresh enthusiasm for literature in China.

The weekly talk show, produced and hosted by renowned TV personality Dong Qing, invites people from all walks of life to read aloud excerpts of poems, essays and books they like or wrote. The participants also share stories from their own life explaining why particular pieces touched their hearts or shaped their lives.

Three days after its debut on CCTV-1 on Saturday, Readers has been rated 9.2 points out of 10 on Douban, one of China's most popular review sites. Internet users have hailed it as "a breath of fresh air" among variety shows in China, a refreshing change from the usual dance and singing shows that dominate live television.

Participants were given different topics in each episode. The first, about 80 minutes long, was themed "Encounter", starred eminent Chinese translator Xu Yuanchong, who has translated more than 100 classics from Chinese to both English and French, highly-respected Chinese actor Pu Cunxin, Chinese tech giant Lenovo founder Liu Chuanzhi and Beijing doctor Jiang Li, who has helped treat people in war-torn Afghanistan.

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