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Last Updated: Friday, 8 October, 2004, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
BBC to entertain on Japanese TV
Rowan Atkinson
Japanese audiences will be able to see Blackadder
The BBC is to launch a dedicated entertainment channel in Japan which will broadcast programmes including Fawlty Towers and Blackadder.

BBC Japan, which will launch on 1 December, will have subtitles over a mix of comedy, drama and factual shows.

Other programmes which will feature include The Weakest Link, Pride and Prejudice and The Tweenies.

Japan has a massive broadcasting industry, with a particular growth in satellite and cable TV.

Much of its programming is home-grown but these show Western influences, and was pioneering in the reality TV genre.

'Quality programming'

David Vine, BBC Worldwide managing director Asia Pacific, said: "Establishing our own BBC channel in Japan is a major step for us.

"Audiences there associate the BBC name with quality television and the time has come to offer them a channel where they can see such BBC programmes every day."

BBC Worldwide already runs BBC America, BBC Canada and BBC Prime, which is broadcast around the world.

BBC Food was launched in Southern Africa two years ago and is now also available in Scandinavia with subtitles in Danish and Swedish.

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