Julian Assange’s talk show to premiere next week, wants to broadcast ‘world-shifting ideas’

Julian Assange, October 2011Julian Assange, the founder of whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, will premiere his TV talk show next week, though its producers are keeping the guest list under wraps.

Assange has been able to make the programs despite being under house arrest in the UK as he fights extradition to Sweden concerning sexual assault allegations, all of which he vehemently denies.

Called The World Tomorrow, the Australian Internet activist will present 12 26-minute episodes, with the first show going out at 7.30am ET on April 17. It will be broadcast on Russia’s state-funded English-language news channel, RT, previously known as Russia Today. 

The show’s maker says Assange’s guests will include figures “who are stamping their mark on the future: politicians, revolutionaries, intellectuals, artists and visionaries.” In other words, don’t expect to see any Letterman-style entertainment with Hollywood celebs peddling their latest movie or new DVD box set. Presumably there won’t be a house band either.

Assange says he hopes the show will give him and his guests a chance to broadcast “world-shifting ideas.”

A trailer (you can see it below) for The World Tomorrow has a defiant-sounding Assange talking about how WikiLeaks has “exposed secrets” and “been attacked by the powerful,” adding, “for 500 days now, I’ve been detained without charge.”

Despite the attacks, he says, WikiLeaks has continued to operate. “Today we are on a request for revolutionary ideas that can change the world tomorrow,” Assange says at the end of the trailer.

A press release for the show says RT — once described by a former KGB officer as “a part of the Russian industry of misinformation and manipulation” — is merely the first broadcast licensee of The World Tomorrow and has no involvement in the production process. In fact, the program was put together by Dartmouth Films, a UK producer of independent films.

The show’s maker says the program will be broadcast in English, Spanish and Arabic, with transcripts of the interviews being made available on the show’s website. Viewers in the US interested in checking out Assange’s interviewing skills can find more information on how to view the program here.

A tweet on WikiLeaks’ Twitter page on Friday asked its followers to guess who the upcoming show’s guests might include. “Joseph Kony,” suggested one. “Donald Duck,” said another.