Egypt’s most famous TV satirist Bassem Youssef will host this year’s international Emmy Awards ceremony, which will take place on 23 November in New York.
The awards are presented annually by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to celebrate TV programmes produced and transmitted outside the United States.
The academy’s president Bruce Paisner said: “Bassem Youssef has been dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab world but in fact his talent has no borders.” He added: “through his own show and his many appearances on the Daily Show, he has become a comedic force and important political commentator around the world,” the awards’ official website reported.
The international awards are part of the famous Emmy awards, the television equivalent of the Oscars, and have been awarded since 1963.
Youssef expressed happiness about hosting the event, saying: “I am extremely honored to be chosen following the footsteps of incredibly funny and distinguished comedians like John Oliver and Matt Lucas who hosted the ceremony in the last two years.”
Youssef was the host of “Al-Bernameg”, which started as a YouTube series called “B+” and has been the cause of major controversy since its rise to mainstream media. The renowned show was stopped in November 2013 by the broadcasting satellite channel CBC following an episode featuring satirical criticism of the Egyptian government and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. It resumed for a short period thereafter on a different channel, but Youssef soon withdrew.
The heart surgeon-turned-political satirist is currently undertaking a fellowship at Harvard University. He is also helping raise funds for the documentary “Tickling Giants” on free-speech in the Middle-East, which was directed by senior-producer at “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, Sara Taksler.