Tourists visit and pose for pictures at Lingshui village in Beijing where the variety show was filmed. (File photo/CFP)
Former British footballer David Beckham reportedly asked for 12 million yuan (US$1.9 million) per episode for participating in the Chinese variety show Where Are We Going, Dad? which features fathers and sons traveling to rural areas, reports the Chinese-language Dalian Evening News.
The variety show, which was originally created by South Korea's Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation, has been a big hit since it was introduced to China last August. Its producer, Hunan Television, is reportedly casting for the show's second season, which is set to air in June.
Malaysian Chinese singer Gary Cao and Inner Mongolia-born singer Han Lei are set to take part in the second season with their children, said Chinese internet user Eight Religious Founder, who claimed have seen the show's cast list. Popular writer and professional racing driver Han Han reportedly showed interested in the show but has to check whether it overlaps with his races in May.
Hunan Television reportedly turned down Hong Kong singer and actor Julian Cheung Chi-Lam, who asked for 20 million yuan (US$3.2 million) per episode. The TV station accepted Beckham's price due to his fame and the upcoming FIFA World Cup, which will be held from June 12-July 13, around the same times as the show. The station has not made final decision since it would have to spend even more to hire interpreters for the star. Beckham is also likely to become the center of spotlight and make the rest of participants look like ordinary people.
Where Are We Going, Dad? 爸爸去哪兒
Hunan Television 湖南衛視
Gary Cao 曹格
Han Lei 韓磊
Han Han 韓寒
Julian Cheung Chi-Lam 張智霖