TV presenter Kim Je-dong, dismissed Saturday from KBS weekend primetime show “Star Golden Bell,” has been picked as the host for a new talk show at MBC TV, according to MBC Tuesday.
In the new talk show “Oh My Tent,” Kim and guests to the program will talk about life and various other topics in a reality show format. They will travel around the country, pitching a tent, and sleeping and eating together.
MBC officials said the first edition of the show will air Oct. 16 at 11:35 p.m. They said the taping of the first edition was done on Sept. 25 and 26 and had nothing to do with the dismissal of Kim by KBS.
In the mean time, Kim made a tearful farewell to his fans during the last recording of Star Golden Bell, Monday, according to KBS program staffers.
The recording of the last edition came as the dismissal has attracted speculation that the sacking is the latest in a series of eliminations of liberal figures from organizations run by the conservative Lee Myung-bak administration.
“I really appreciate our staff and viewers for having loved this program so far,” Kim said, with tears welling in his eyes.
Afterwards, Kim declined to reply to questions from reporters, saying only “I thank you.”
Kim has been at the center of a dispute over the reasons for the dismissal _ KBS claims it is merely part of a program restructuring when faced with escalating allegations from politicians and netizens that it was politically motivated.
Kim hosted a memorial ceremony for the late former President Roh Moo-hyun in May. It is not the first time a celebrity is suspected of having been dismissed due to liberal connections.
Rocker Yoon Do-hyun was suspended from his long-running KBS2 show “Love Letter” last November.
Kim and Yoon are represented by the same agency, Daeum Entertainment, which is run by Kim Young-jun.
Kim, the agency president, posted a long letter on Internet portal Daum, Monday, in which he said that KBS sent a short note to the company over the dismissal, adding that it only said, “It’s because Kim hosted the show for a long time.”
Daeum’s chief said it is difficult to figure out the real intention of those who decided on the sacking.
He said Kim and Yoon have been forthcoming on making remarks that support the socially underprivileged, but they are not politically motivated. “They’re not `politainers’ (a compound of politician and entertainers) but `socialtainers,”’ he said.
Separately, the association of KBS program directors issued a statement criticizing its management for sacking the host.
“Management sacked even an entertainment program MC after removing all critical programs dealing with social and political issues,” it said. “It’s nonsense to unseat a host who had been with the program from the start without picking a substitute. It’s nothing but vengeance against his hosting of a street memorial service for former President Roh Moo-hyun and his critical remarks on social issues.” (Korea Times)