Mar 5, 2012

Pre-execution hit talk show from China, available via PBS International, to air in Britain

A Chinese show featuring interviews with death-row prisoners just before execution has become a hit in that country, with 40 million viewers each Saturday night. Now scenes from the show, titled Dead Men Talking (available via PBS International), will be shown in Britain for the first time in a new BBC 2 documentary, reports The Daily Mail. The show has made a celebrity of interviewer Ding Yu. "Some viewers might consider it cruel to ask a criminal to do an interview when they are about to be executed," she told the paper. "On the contrary, they want to be heard. When I am face-to-face with them I feel sorry and regretful for them. But I don’t sympathize with them, for they should pay a heavy price for their wrongdoing. They deserve it." Lu Peijin, head of the TV Legal Channel in Henan province, the show's producer, told the paper its aim is not to entertain but to "inform and educate according to government policy. We want the audience to be warned. If they are warned, tragedies might be averted. That is good for society." Tom Koch, vice president of PBS Distribution, told Current that both the original show and new documentary are available domestically but have yet to be picked up here.

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