China to tone down new year TV galas in anti-graft push
BEIJING (REUTERS) - China will tone down and simplify the glitzy, kitsch and widely watched television galas beamed across the country over the traditional Lunar New Year festival, state media said on Friday, as part of government efforts to fight graft.
The "CCTV Spring Festival Gala", a more than four-hour showcase of comedy skits, music and dance, has become a lounge room fixture for hundreds of millions of Chinese since first broadcast in 1982, spawning copy-cat shows on regional stations over the holiday.
This year, Canadian singer Celine Dion - wildly popular in China - was given top billing on CCTV's gala where she sang "My Heart Will Go On" and a Chinese song, and every year a whole host of famous Chinese faces put in appearances.
But next year's event is going to be a more basic affair, the official Xinhua news agency reported, following newly installed President Xi Jinping's campaign to cast aside extravagance in the name of fighting corruption and winning back public trust.