It was once seen as a brave new voice of Egypt’s new media scene – but El-Bernameg, the popular satirical show fronted by Bassem Youssef, is no more.
The charismatic host of El-Bernameg, or ‘The Program’, today announced that the show would no longer resume, amid changing political tides in his home country.
Bassem Youssef made the announcement at a press conference earlier today, reportedly after he and his crew realized it was better to end the show rather than destroy its spirit.
Youssef and his crew are said to have refused offers of airing the program from outside Egypt, according to Ahram Online.
The news comes just a week after Egypt’s election, and ahead of the widely anticipated announcement that former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will be named president.
Youssef had previously poked fun of the national obsession with al-Sisi, although had sometimes taken care not to mention the powerful former army chief by name.
Egyptian officials told Al Arabiya News that the decision to suspend the program was not due to government pressure. “We just found out about it ourselves via Twitter,” the official said under condition of anonymity.
Youssef’s show rose to prominence under Mohammed Mursi’s presidency, and he was known to poke fun of the former leader, who was ousted by the army in July.
The show appeared on MBC Misr. Al Arabiya News is also part of MBC Group. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Youssef’s show previously aired on the Egyptian satellite television channel CBC, which pulled it after saying the program violated its editorial policy and contractual obligations, and that he upset Egyptian sensibilities by attacking “symbols of the state.”.. see more