‘Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook’ comes to an end amid the singer-songwriter’s plagiarism scandal

The well-loved live music programme airs its final episode later this week

South Korean live music show Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook will be coming to an end after its 13-year run.

On July 18, South Korean singer-songwriter and host Yoo Hee Yeol announced his intention to step down from his live music programme Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook. The news comes shortly after a recent controversy surrounding the singer, who was accused of plagiarising the song Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto’s ‘Aqua’ on his own song ‘Very Private Night’ earlier this year.

“First of all, I want to convey my sincerely apologise once again for causing people to be tired for a long time due to the controversy surrounding me,” wrote Yoo in a statement via his agency Antenna, per Soompi. “We ask for your generous understanding that the decision regarding my broadcast activity was delayed since many people, including the production team I work together with, needed time to prepare.”

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“We plan to wrap up Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook after the end of episode 600. I sincerely express my gratitude to the many people who have treasured [the program] for the long period of 13 years and three months. I’m sincerely grateful to the production team and to all related personnel for working hard until the end,” he continued.

Antenna had addressed the controversy back in June, clarifying that the song had not been plagiarised intentionally. It also included a statement from Sakamoto himself, which read: “The music has similarities, but I don’t think it’s on the level of requiring any legal actions to protect my piece ‘Aqua’.”

South Korean television network KBS have also since shared a statement on its official website announcing the end of the show’s 13-year run. “MC Yoo Hee Yeol has revealed his official statement that he will be stepping down from the program. KBS will be accepting his intent to step down,” it stated, adding that the show will air its 600th and final episode on July 22.

Earlier today, it was reported that former K-pop girl group SISTAR would be reuniting to perform in the final episode of Yoo Hee Yeol’s Sketchbook. The upcoming performance will mark the first time all four members of the iconic act have performed as a group since their disbandment in May 2017.

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