I always used to enjoy Daisy Donovan’s slots on Channel 4’s all-too-short-lived 11 O’Clock Show, so I’m looking forward to seeing her front a programme which takes a look at the weird and wonderful world of South Korean TV. According to United K-pop, one of the shows featured will be Infinite Challenge. But the blurb on the Channel 4 website chooses to focus on the panel interview show featuring beauteous North Korean defectors, Now On My Way To Meet You (이제 만나러 갑니다), which was the subject of a talk at SOAS’s recent Years of Radical Change conference.
As part of her fieldwork, Donovan appeared on one Korean TV show dressed up as Sarah Ferguson, and met Biryong, an anarchist broadcaster who is in full military attire at all times. Set your video recorder now.
Daisy goes behind the scenes of TV in South Korea. She meets an online TV star who cooks – and eats – for an audience of people who live alone.
And she takes a role in the top-rated TV show where six top comedians, whose sense of humour is hard for outsiders to understand, face a series of madcap challenges.
With tensions between North and South Korea higher than they’ve been in decades, Daisy goes behind the scenes on Now on My Way to Meet You, an extraordinary Loose Women-style TV talk show featuring a panel of 15 female North Korean ‘defector beauties’ who chat, dance, share jokes and flirt with male celebrities.
But, alongside the chat and fluff, the women also reveal shocking details of their lives in the isolated dictatorship, including torture, starvation and brainwashing, and every show ends with a defector telling their heartrending story, and often looking for lost family members.
Daisy finds out about South Korea’s obsession with gaming and meets a professional ‘e-sport’ team who live and train together 24/7 in a specially created residence and compete for hundreds of thousands of pounds in prize money, playing a sophisticated strategy shoot-em-up game on dedicated TV channels.