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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 September 2007, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
China slaps curbs on talent shows
Super Voice Girls
Super Voice Girls was a huge hit in China
China has ordered strict curbs on Pop Idol-style TV shows, the country's state media has reported.

The curbs include a ban on public voting via the internet, telephone or by text messages.

The rules also say participants must be healthy and mature, while hosts of the reality TV programmes should not flirt with each other or be nasty.

Reality TV shows like Super Voice Girls, modelled on Pop Idol, have become hugely popular in China.

But the shows will no longer be broadcast during prime time evening hours, Xinhua said, presumably a measure meant to curb audience numbers.

Hairstyles

It is thought one reason for the crackdown was a view that participants were negative role models for the young.

"TV stations must select qualified candidates who show characteristics such as perseverance, maturity, confidence, and health," Xinhua quoted the rules as saying.

"The hairstyle, dress and remarks of candidates should accord with aesthetic values of the general public."

The rules also warned hosts against "flirting with each other," and making "inflammatory or sensational remarks", according to Xinhua.

Last month the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (Sarft) banned to talent show The First Heartthrob for being "vulgar".




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