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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Popular comic quits New Year's gala

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

09:41, January 20, 2012

Zhao Benshan

BEIJING - Zhao Benshan, one of the most famous Chinese comics and a perennial feature of the Spring Festival Gala, announced on Thursday that he has decided to quit the mainland's most-viewed show after nearly 21 consecutive years.

Every year since 1990, the 55-year-old Liaoning native, arguably the most popular Chinese comedian, has taken part in the show, which is organized by China Central Television (CCTV) and staged on the eve of Spring Festival.

But according to a statement released by CCTV on its micro blog on Thursday, Zhao will not appear due to his overwhelming fatigue.

Zhao has fully prepared for his part in the show and has participated in several rehearsals though he has been ill, according to the statement, but he finally decided to leave the gala because "he felt exhausted and excessively tired".

"Zhao's departure will not affect our schedule for the show," said Ma Xin, who works for CCTV.

However, Ma declined to give more details about the comedian's sudden decision to quit.

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