After months away from the small screen, TV satirist Bassem Youssef is back on the air but it is uncertain how long he'll stay. After a four month absence returned to the airwaves last Friday with a new episode of his weekly TV show Al Bernameg
(The Programme). The episode sparked a new wave of controversy, reflecting the deepening divisions in Egyptian society.
The Public Prosecutor ordered an investigation into a legal complaint against Youssef, one of several filed by citizens angered by his mockery of the military chief. Others were upset by jibes he made at the former ruling Islamists. Youssef has
been accused of inciting chaos, insulting the military and being a threat to national security.
Friday's episode played on the sensitivity about the recent coup. The word coup was never once mentioned on the programme. In one scene, Youssef is seen putting his hand over the mouth of one of his assistants in an attempt to silence him
as he utters the now-taboo word.
An Egyptian television station has refused to air the latest episode of its star satirist's comedy series, after his show drew criticism for mocking the current fervour for Egypt s army.
Private channel CBC stopped the Friday night broadcast of Bassem Youssef 's show minutes before its 10pm airtime. Instead, a broadcaster read out a statement claiming that Youssef's production team was involved in a dispute with the channel's
board over contractual and content issues.
The channel did not give further details. But earlier this week a CBC newscaster read a statement distancing the channel from Youssef's criticism of Egypt's widespread pro-army sentiment , censuring him for using phrases and innuendos that may
lead to mocking national sentiment or symbols of the Egyptian state.
Bassem Youssef, Egypt's top satirist, has returned to television for the first airing of his show since it was shut down three months ago. The heart surgeon turned comedian sent up the public and media for the adulation heaped on Abdel Fattah
al-Sisi, the army chief widely expected to be the country's next president.
In taking aim at the frenzy of support Sisi, Youssef went further in his criticism of the army-backed political order than anyone else currently allowed on the airwaves. Pledging not to discuss political issues that got his popular show The
Program taken off the air by private broadcaster CBC in November, Youssef showed that all topics in the country lead back to Sisi, who overthrew President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
After attempting in a mock game show to explore subjects ranging from cooking to sports, Youssef asked with exasperation: So what are we going to talk about?
The brave comedian Bassem Youssef has decided to call it quits on his TV show, claiming it is no longer safe to satirise Egyptian politics.
The television satirist seen as the barometer for free speech in post-revolutionary Egypt , Bassem Youssef , has ended his show because he feels it is no longer safe to satirise Egyptian politics. He told repoerters:
The present climate in Egypt is not suitable for a political satire program. I'm tired of struggling and worrying about my safety and that of my family.
Youssef's announcement followed a decision by his host channel, MBC-Misr, to suspend his show during Egypt's recent presidential election campaign, in what was perceived as an attempt to stop him mocking Egypt's incoming head of state, field
marshal Abdel Fatah al-Sisi .