By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, July 9 (IANS) Amitabh Bachchan, who is set to host "Kaun Banega Crorepati" (KBC) for the third time, refuses to take credit for turning the game show into a phenomenon when it was launched in 2000 with him as the host.
"I was merely a fortunate bystander that climbed on to the KBC joy ride. I am happy that it worked," Amitabh, 67, said.
He feels the show worked because "KBC conceptually was brilliant in its design. There was drama, learning, suspense and thrills all rolled into one. Its presentation was something that had been pioneering for Indian television. All these factors worked in its favour".
The fourth season will go on air before the year ends.
Excerpts from an interview:
Q: You are back on KBC though on a different channel this time. What made you agree to host the show a third time?
A: Sony TV now has the rights for KBC and they approached me. They shared with me their research and the changes that they wished to incorporate in the show and I agreed.
Q: Earlier you also hosted "Bigg Boss". Doesn't television eat into the precious time that you have for movies?
A; No it does not. The schedules get planned accordingly and film and TV get different slots and it all works out. I was also not shooting any film during the time of "Bigg Boss" and its very likely that for KBC also the film shoot shall begin after the season is over. But even if it were not to, adjustments in dates would be made and incorporated.
Q: KBC changed the relationship between cinema and television forever. No other game show since then has had the same impact. Do you in some ways, feel responsible for bringing cinema closer to the home medium?
A: That is too large a credit that you put on my shoulders. Innovators of the game show, its presenters and broadcasters and then the public are the ones that decide what shall work and how. I was merely a fortunate bystander that climbed on to the KBC joy ride. I am happy that it worked. This is not the first example of such a fusion. It has happened many times before, both here and in the West.
Q: Not too many television shows after KBC featuring your colleagues have seen the success of KBC. Why do you think KBC remains one of its kind?
A: I would firstly disagree that shows featuring my colleagues were not successful or as large as KBC. They have all done well - Shah Rukh (Khan), Salman (Khan) and several others have all had their value and continue to have their importance.
KBC conceptually was brilliant in its design. There was drama, learning, suspense and thrills all rolled into one. Its presentation was something that had been pioneering for Indian television. All these factors worked in its favor.
Q: You've done two seasons of KBC. How would Season 3 be different?
A: Its host and anchor is 10 years older and wears glasses!!
Q: Your connect with the home viewing audience has proven to be exceptional. How do you intend to carry that connectivity forward this time?
A: The format of the show is binding by contract, but yes, there are some innovations that will be different from the earlier one. The channel does not wish me to disclose this right now. They wish to bring that up at an appropriate time.
Q: Anil Kapoor played KBC host in "Slumdog Millionaire". Do you think he did the role well?
A: Yes, he was very good.
Q: You've so far done only non-fiction on television. Are you at all tempted to take up one of the many soaps that are being offered to you?
A: There has not been a concrete proposal to do a soap, but if there were to be one I would not mind considering it.