Japan’s “Mr. Television” is back on the air. Emcee Mino Monta (61) made his comeback to the small screen yesterday and looked as good as ever, after two weeks in hospital following back surgery. He tried to remain cheerful during a press conference immediately before he was released from hospital on Friday, but broke down in tears several times. But he made light of the whole ordeal in typically upbeat fashion during his live TBS morning show “Mino Monta no Asa Zuba!” and NTV afternoon show “Omikiri Terebi”, where he dispenses lifestyle advice and listens to the trials and tribulations of housewives across the country. He says he has no plans to cut back on his intensive schedule of eight weekly shows that includes several hours of live TV every day.
• Pop duo Puffy have been named as Friendship Ambassadors to the US. The announcement was made in Yokohama yesterday as part of the government’s Visit Japan Campaign. Ohnuki Ami (32) and Yoshimura Yumi (30) are celebrating their 10th anniversary in the business this year, and have developed a big following in America, thanks to the success of their animation show “Hi! Hi! Puffy-AmiYumi” on the Cartoon Network.