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April 08, 2003

NHK Adds Variety to its English

While NHK-E has long been the TV channel that many Japanese tune into for educational programs, the new show Eigo de Shaberanaito (a pun that means "English Talk Night" or "If You Don't Speak English...") is being broadcast on the NHK-G channel. This is largely due to the fact that it aims to be a mix of education and variety show. The popularity of SMA Station's English corner has proven that this formula can be successful. Other similarities are the late-night time slot, in this case 11:15pm on Mondays, and the presence of a star popular with young people. The new show features actress Yumiko Shaku (photo) alongside NHK presenter Kazuya Matsumoto. The English is provided by comedian Patrick Harlan (photo) of the manzai duo "Packun Mackun," who appears as a computer-generated "teacher," and DJ John Kavira who provides the show's bilingual voiceover. (photo: NHK)

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