Veteran CCTV anchor Zhao Zhongxiang dead at 78

China | 16 Jan 2020 1:51 pm

Veteran China Central Television anchor Zhao Zhongxiang died at the age of 78 at 7:30am today in Beijing, China Daily reported.

In a statement released on his official Sina Weibo account by his son, Zhao Fang, the veteran anchorman sought medical care at the end of 2019 after feeling unwell. He was diagnosed with cancer, which had already spread by the time of diagnosis.

Zhao died on his birthday, as he was born in North China's Hebei province on January 16, 1942.

The newscaster is best known for his professionalism as a journalist, news broadcaster and in dubbing, and had many remarkable accomplishments under his belt.

In 1959, Zhao joined Beijing Television, the predecessor of CCTV, as a broadcaster. He was China's first male broadcaster to work in television. He was the first Chinese journalist to conduct an interview with a US president, the then-president Jimmy Carter, in the White House when he accompanied former chairman Deng Xiaoping during his visit to the US in 1979.

He hosted 12 broadcasts of the Spring Festival Gala, the must-watch for Chinese audiences on Chinese New Year's Eve that began airing in 1984, and was the record-holder for any host who has worked with the show.

However, Zhao's name is more well-known in the field of documentaries. Many people say they grew up listening to Zhao's smooth voice when he narrated Animal World, which has been airing since 1981. He also lent his voice to Human and Nature, which has been running since 1995.

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