Assange TV show to be aired next week

The first episode of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's new TV interview show will be broadcast on Tuesday on Russia Today and online, the whistleblowing website said on Friday.

WikiLeaks remained tightlipped on the identity of Assange's interviewee in the first of the 12-episode weekly series entitled "The World Tomorrow".

It has promised "an eclectic range of guests, who are stamping their mark on the future: politicians, revolutionaries, intellectuals, artists and visionaries".

Assange said the show would have a "frank and irreverent tone".

"My own work with WikiLeaks hasn't exactly made my life easier", the 40-year-old Australian former hacker said in a statement, "but it has given us a platform to broadcast world-shifting ideas."

The show is being produced by Quick Roll Productions, a company established by Assange. The main production partner is the little-known Dartmouth Films, a British producer of independent films.

WikiLeaks said Russia Today was one of its broadcast licensees for the show "but it has not been involved in the production process".

Russia Today (RT) will broadcast the show in English, Spanish and Arabic.

Assange has been under house arrest for almost 500 days awaiting judgment from the Supreme Court in London on whether he can be extradited to Sweden for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault, which he denies.

WikiLeaks rose to prominence and enraged Washington by releasing tens of thousands of diplomatic cables about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It followed that up by releasing cables from US diplomats which often gave their candid opinions about world leaders and the political scene of the country in which they were based.

WikiLeaks came under fire last September for potentially endangering the lives of government informants by publishing an unredacted version of its archive of 251,000 secret US diplomatic cables.

After almost being closed down by a funding crisis, it has now turned its attention to the corporate intelligence industry.

WikiLeaks has long expressed concern that if Assange is extradited to Sweden, he could eventually be sent on to the United States where he could face prosecution for publishing the diplomatic cables.

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