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Veteran British broadcaster to join Al-Jazeera's English channel

Sunday, October 9, 2005

MANAMA, Bahrain -- Veteran British broadcaster David Frost will go on-air next spring with Al-Jazeera International, the English-language channel of the popular Arab satellite broadcaster, the network announced.

Frost, who broadcast his final "Breakfast with Frost" program for British Broadcasting Corp. in May, would be among the "key on-air talent" on the 24-hour news and current affairs channel, Al-Jazeera said in a statement Friday.

"Most of the television I have done over the years has been aimed at British and American audiences," he said. "This time, while our target is still Britain and America, the excitement is that it is also the 6 billion other inhabitants of the globe."

Frost's shows have long attracted world leaders. He notched 500 editions of "Breakfast with Frost" before bowing out.

His new network has had repeated run-ins with the U.S. administration, which says Al-Jazeera's exclusive broadcasts of speeches by Osama bin Laden and other terrorist leaders show an anti-American, pro-terrorist bias.

Al-Jazeera denies it holds any anti-American bias and says it reports the news objectively.

The English-language channel is part of the network's expansion. Al-Jazeera, launched in 1996 in Qatar, recently began an Arabic-language children's channel as well as a sports channel and another dedicated to covering live events without an announcer.

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