It’s been 30 years since CCTV first held its Spring Festival Gala, and there have always been familiar faces to deliver blessings, introduce the programs and lead the audience into the lunar New Year by midnight -- the hosts! Zhao Zhongxiang and Ni Ping are two of those famous hosts from yester-year.

Zhao Zhongxiang was literally the very first host to appear on CCTV in 1983, although it was a rather last-minute decision.

Zhao Zhongxiang said, "The producer asked me to do the opening, so actually I was more like an emcee. I wasn’t involved in the gala very much at that time. My favorite experience was the 1984 edition, when two of the gala’s all time classic tracks were performed for the first time, "My Chinese Heart" and "A Night So Unforgettable". Such beautiful melodies."

In 2001, Zhao Zhongxiang appeared on stage for the last time in a poetry recital. But the record of hosting CCTV’s Spring Festival Gala an astounding 18 times has already become part of the greatest memories of his career.

Zhao Zhongxiang’s most familiar partner is Ni Ping without a doubt. She explains her role in the gala as "the eldest child in a family who makes sure that everything is going well."

Ni Ping said, "Now I can relax and watch the gala at home, but my mind is with the team all the time thinking about the camera, the timing, simply because I know it too well. It has become a part of me. "

Recently, when Zhao Zhongxiang paid a visit to the studio, he was crowned by the young performers. As these former gala hosts have become etched into the collective memory of millions of TV viewers, they are never forgotten.


Spring Festival Gala:春节联欢晚会
lunar New Year:农历新年
classic tracks:经典曲目
poetry recital:诗歌朗诵
collective memory:集体记忆