China to Ban Celebrities From Presenting TV Shows

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Only qualified hosts can work as TV show hosts, according to the country's media watchdog.

China is planning to ban celebrities from working as presenters on TV shows, according to a new rule by the country's media regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT).

"TV stations often hire famous actors, actresses and celebrities as guest hosts, especially for popular reality shows, which might result in improper remarks or mistakes during live broadcasting," ran a report on the state news agency Xinhua. The regulation will officially take effect on July 1.

President Xi Jinping is currently overseeing a broader moral crusade, which includes a crackdown on celebrities taking drugs and on programming deemed "vulgar" or not "close to the masses."

The ban applies to news and commentary shows, as well as interview panels, according to a circular issued by the SAPPRFT, and the roles of guest and host in broadcasting and TV programs should be clear-cut.

"TV hosts are responsible for the show; guiding the audience and controlling the pace of the live broadcast. Thus, it is unsuitable for guests to be hosts or presenters," SAPPRFT said.

The circular also called for more training for hosts and guests before the show is recorded.

Anyone working as a TV host must have the right qualifications, and these would be inspected in the near future, SAPPRFT said.