Media personality Tony Khalifeh is currently in Cairo filming his new Ramadan programme, which will be exclusively shown on Egyptian TV station Cairo and People. Milad Abu Raed is the show’s director. Last
year, Khalifeh’s Ramadan show was the subject of harsh criticism, despite being a huge success. Khalifeh spoke about his critics to Arabstoday.
“Those people are still here, they resent my success. They are watching my every step, and although we’ve heard nothing bad from them yet, they may just be waiting for this year’s show to begin.”
And in regards to his planned interviewee list, he revealed that new names from the media, politics and arts would be appearing on the show. He said the majority of interviews would be based on the 25th January Egyptian Revolution, and the changes Egypt is living through. He assures audiences that he “will be interviewing some of the presidential candidates for Egypt, in addition to artists who are pro and against the Revolution, and media personalities who took bold stands, especially relating to the Arab Revolutions.” Tony will also be interviewing leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood to discuss the role they will be playing in future of Egypt.
Khalifeh denied the rumors that actor Adel Emam refused to appear on his show. “Emam demands a high fee for guest appearances, which our budget cannot afford.” Tony added that, “Artists wait for Ramadan so they can demand high fees to appear on Arabic TV screens.”
Khalifeh said to look for changes this year. “The idea of the show is brand new. The décor is completely different and eye-catching.”
The seasoned host would not reveal the names of his interviewees. Many shows are after the same interviews, and he has had his guests poached by other hosts more than once. “A guest would ring up last minute and apologize with an excuse of being ill or needing to urgently travel. Only then would I find out that they appeared as a guest on another show at the same time.”
Khalifeh is uncertain of when he will be leaving Egypt, as it depends on how long the episodes take to film. He has been shooting more than one episode a day for it to be ready in time for Ramadan. Tony revealed that his show Lenashr, which is broadcast on Al Jadeed TV station, has stopped and broadcasting will resume in mid-September or early October.