By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, Jan 28 (IANS) The stage is set for the Balalji Telefilms' awards function that will see megastar Shah Rukh Khan performing Feb 1, but Ekta Kapoor refuses to shake a leg even at her own event.
"Actually, I was to enter the stage for Karan Johar with a jig. I refused. Sorry, I can't dance even for my show," Ekta told IANS.
"I'm going to take the stage after the top TV stars perform. Then I'll do a rapid-fire question and answer with him (Johar). I'll have the questions ready, but he won't know them. He should be caught unawares. He's too cute," she added.
Excerpts from an interview:
Q: What makes your awards different from the other TV awards?
A: First of all, it won't be patronised by Balaji artistes alone. I've personally called up all the other TV production houses. My dad has called up the channel heads. We want the television and film industry to come on Feb 1 in full force. I wanted the credibility level to be high. And we've worked to ensure that. Beyond that, how different these awards will be from other functions remains to be seen. We can only pray that there are no mess-ups on stage. Planning is just part of the process.
Q: How is your pal Karan Johar participating?
A: I'm honouring him (chuckles). I'm going to enter the stage after the top TV stars perform. Then I'll do a rapid-fire question and answer with him. I'll have the questions ready, but he won't know them. He should be caught unawares. He's too cute. Actually, I was to enter for Karan with a jig. I refused. Sorry, I can't dance even for my show.
Q: How will you ensure that cynics don't accuse you of giving away the awards to all your Balaji soaps?
A: Sajid Khan asked me this. I told him it isn't my award function. It's Balaji's function. Irrespective of whether Balaji wins or not, I'll be sitting in a corner and clapping for all the winners and hoping the awards go to non-Balaji shows.
Q: But how can Balaji soaps not win when they occupy a majority of primetime?
A: Well, you are right. We do 40 percent of soaps and dramas. But what about comedy, reality, anchoring... ? In drama too, there is a lot of competition from other production houses. This is the best year to start our awards function. Three years ago, there was hardly any competition. Today, luckily we'll get a run for our money. We have a jury and an evaluation system where we don't even know the nomination process, let alone the decisions. This is the best time to start our awards.
Q: Are you going to honour the stalwarts?
A: Well, we want Kundan Shah to be there. He's one of the founding fathers of fiction on Indian television. I still remember as a kid sitting with my bag of chips watching shows like "Nukkad", "Fauji" and "Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi". I wonder what happened to shows like that! I wanted to have an awards function that honours the minds behind such serials.
Q: Are you excited?
A: I've butterflies in my stomach. It's my first time. We've always made sure Balaji stands for quality and commerce. That goes for the awards function. Everyone should see our transparency and honesty. For us, it is a matter of prestige and credibility. I don't know how happening the function will be, but we want to be called honest.
Q: What plans for the awards in future years?
A: From next year it won't be just television awards. We're bringing cinema and TV together. And we'll give awards to people from cinema and television and anyone who deserves it. Whether you come or not, it's your wish.