Celebrity Interview: Ekta Kapoor ...

By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service

imageMumbai, (IANS) The ever-forthright Ekta Kapoor has no qualms about admitting she had a minor scuffle with Sony Entertainment - or its head honcho Tarun Katial to be precise.

"I was rather annoyed with Tarun. They had left out my soap 'Kkusum' from the invitation card of their party celebrating their successful soaps. Though Tarun said it was an oversight, I thought it was a deliberate attempt to push our 'Kkusum' hastily out of sight," Ekta told IANS in an interview.

"Come on! Just because the soap was winding up it didn't mean it shouldn't have got a decent send-off."

The minor fracas is now forgotten. And the workaholic TV tycoon is now working on her new show - a TV gossip magazine called "Kandy Floss" for Sony.

Giving the details of the format for the first time, Ekta says: "We've never really had a gossip-and-information show about TV on TV before. Also Balaji Telefilms hasn't really done much non-fiction...though we did do the Sunita Menon show on Zoom, which was very successful. But, yes, 'Kandy Floss' is a first for us. And we're excited."

Besides a regular female anchor, "Kandy Floss" will have an animation creature called Kandy who'll take viewers through the party-gossip-info circuit on television.

"It would be my tribute to Madame M, the fictional gossip writer whom I grew up reading in the magazine Cine Blitz."

The anchor is not confirmed, but isn't Archana Puran Singh talking about anchoring the show?

"We're in negotiations. But some nitty-gritty needs to be worked out," says Ekta.

Besides "Kandy Floss" on Sony, Ekta has two new fiction programmes coming up - "Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka" on STAR One and "Kasam Se" on Zee.

"We've already started casting for Nimmo. Though it will have a new face in the central role, the supporting cast will comprise some very well-known veterans from stage and movies never seen in my serials," promises Ekta.

Ekta is also thrilled with the remarkable recovery of ratings for STAR's "Kavyanjali".

"From being written off - almost - to now being our fourth most popular soap on STAR after 'Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi', 'Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki' and 'Kasauti Zindagi Kay', we're very proud of 'Kavyanjali' and the support that STAR offered. STAR's COO Samir Nair assured me he wouldn't close down the show, come what may. That gave me the courage to go on."

As for the revival of "Hum Paanch" on Zee, Ekta says it's still not certain how successful it would be.

"The first few weekends were overshadowed by other events on rival channels. But I had no choice. The channel told me either I bring 'Hum Paanch' back, or they'd do it themselves. How could I let someone else take over my show?

"I've revived two of my shows, 'Mano Ya No Mano' and 'Koi Haadsa Koi Haqeeqat', successfully. Why not 'Hum Paanch'?"