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Back in Their Game, After Decade

2009/01/27 Source

By Han Sang-hee
Staff Reporter

Last year was all about newcomers and idol bands, but 2009 will have some familiar faces returning to the small screen.

Choi Yang-rak and Kim Jeong-ryeol, who were popular comedy stars in the 1980s and early 1990s, returned to the small screen the first time in 10 years on SBS's "Yashimmanman" early this month. The 47-year-old and 48-year-old comedians, respectively, made their debut in 1981 and garnered fans with their witty lines and personalities, but dropped out of the spotlight in the late 1990s. Lee Bong-won, another hit comedian of the 1980s, also returned to television. His wife, popular "ajumma" comedienne and television hostess Park Mi-sun, made her debut in 1984 and made it big with comedy sequences and shows.

The three comedians saw their heyday when television programs were more focused on stand-up gigs, instead of the talk show-like programs with young, up and coming stars stealing the spotlight these days.

"It's a great honor and I am so excited, but one thing I am worried about is that I have to be funny", Choi wrote on his Web site, expressing his excitement of making a successful return to his old and new fans.

The pop and drama scene will also see some "new" faces return, with veteran singer Lee Sun-hee, pop princess Kang Susie and actors Park Sang-won, Kim Nam-joo and Go Hyun-jung planning to meet fans soon.

Lee is planning to release her first new album in four years, while Kang brought out her new digital single early this month, her first in seven years. She joined hands with fellow singer Yoon Sang, who also returned to the pop scene recently, after a 14-year hiatus.

Park, who made it big in the 1990s with dramas like "Sandglass", will return to the small screen this coming February, while Kim will appear on television for the first time in eight years. Her hit film "Voice of a Murderer" was released 2007. Ko, a fellow actress from the 1995 drama "Sandglass", will appear again through a historical drama, the first in her career, displaying her versatility.

Local programs will not be the only place where fans will find some of their favorite stars returning, as BBC Entertainment is locally airing the fourth season of "Strictly Come Dancing" with some familiar faces.

The popular television series is the original version of American network ABC's "Dancing With the Stars".

Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton will appear on stage to show her fiery moves, while former athletes like Peter Schmeichel and Matt Dawson join in.

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