The popular show L-Erbgħa Fost il-Ġimgħa will be replaced by a new show called ‘Topik’, which will be hosted by the former presenter of Popolin Quinton Scerri.
The news comes after it emerged on Sunday that L-Erbgħa Fost il-Ġimgħa would be axed from TVM’s next schedule, with its host Mark Laurence Zammit stating that he was departing after too much “interference” in the running of the show by the state broadcaster.
Zammit’s departure was greeted with angry reactions, with the Nationalist Party and NGOs seeing it as yet another episode of political intervention in the supposedly neutral and objective state television station.
In a statement on social media, the show’s producers We Media Ltd however claimed that Zammit had never been offered to present the programme against after the last season and that he was not involved in any decisions with regards to the programme.
“It is not true that PBS axed the programme L-Erbgħa Fost il-Ġimgħa. In fact, the programme was still being considered up to a few weeks ago when Mark Laurence Zammit was already on his notice of termination of employment as a producer with We Media Ltd”, the company said.
We Media Ltd said that an agreement had been reached with PBS for the rebranding of the programme under the name ‘Topik’, which will move to the new TVMNews+ station (which will be replacing TVM2) and which will air on Wednesday and Friday.
Quinton Scerri meanwhile revealed on his Facebook page that he would be the person hosting this new programme.
Scerri hosted the programme Popolin on the state television station. He also briefly served as the mayor of Zabbar, having been elected on the Labour Party ticket, and worked at Labour Party media house One Television as an executive.
Speaking on social media, Scerri did not seem pleased at the removal of Popolin – which he noted was the most popular programme in its bracket – from the schedule, but said that it is “not in my interest to get into public controversies” over and added that he was looking forward to this new “interesting” project.
He also referred to Zammit – saying that the new programme will not be replacing anyone or anything, and that whether one agrees with Zammit or not, he has his own talents – the likes of which are becoming rarer on Maltese television.