Broadcaster axes panda reality TV

2012-10-01 14:52
A Thai broadcaster has pulled the plug on one of the kingdom's most-loved but lethargic reality TV celebrities - a giant panda. (Susan Walsh, AP)

A Thai broadcaster has pulled the plug on one of the kingdom's most-loved but lethargic reality TV celebrities - a giant panda. (Susan Walsh, AP)

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Bangkok - After three years of following her every move, a Thai broadcaster has pulled the plug on one of the kingdom's most-loved but lethargic reality TV celebrities - a giant panda.

Linping, Thailand's first giant panda cub, has won millions of fans since her birth in 2009, becoming the star of a live feed from a zoo in northern Chiang Mai dubbed the Panda Channel.

But the show ended on Sunday after satellite-cable television broadcaster TrueVisions axed the programme as part of its plans to introduce new channels, to the dismay of her legion of fans.

"I'm really sad about this decision," said Supornthip Bunlased, 54, who was a regular viewer. "The programme is relaxing, particularly for people who are stressed about their work."

While no official viewing figures are available, national "panda-mania" is believed to have waned somewhat since the initial excitement over Linping's birth.

Fans can still watch Linping on the internet for another month, said the director of the zoo's panda programme, Prasertsak Buntragulpoontawee.

Giant pandas, notorious for their low sex drive in captivity, are among the planet's most endangered animals.

Linping was conceived by artificial insemination after years of unsuccessful efforts to encourage her parents - loaned by China - to mate. Linping also officially belongs to Beijing.
Read more on:    thailand  |  animals
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