TV most challenging format: Amitabh

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Aug 9 (IANS) Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who is all set to host the fourth season of the popular game show "Kaun Banega Crorepati" (KBC) on Sony, says the small screen is not only the "most challenging format", it is a "lot tougher" as well.

"I have never minded exploring fresh avenues. I think it (TV) is a most challenging format and a lot tougher. Tougher because there are no set lines. Most of it is impromptu and on the spur of the moment. For people like me, who are accustomed to pre- written dialogues, it then does become challenging," said Big B who hosted "Bigg Boss" for Colors last year.

The new season of KBC is expected to go on air on Amitabh's birthday, which is on Oct 11.

"I believe the channel is considering the 11th (October). If it happens, yes it does become special. Birthdays are always special," he said.

Excerpts from an interview:

Q: You are back to another season of KBC. How does it feel to be again hosting a show you had left behind after the second season?

A: It feels good. I feel very nostalgic. Other than the channel changes, most of the crew is the same with Siddharth Basu and his team. It's good to be among familiar faces again.

Q: The show is starting on your birthday. Does that make it seem special?

A: The exact date has yet to be announced. I believe the channel is considering the 11th (October). If it happens yes it does become special. Birthdays are always special.

Q: How much do the changes in the format change your equation with the audience?

A: There are some changes in the show, which will be revealed once it starts its broadcast. However the basic format cannot undergo much alteration, that shall remain. But yes being able to reach out to the common man and to give him or her an opportunity which could be a life changing amount in winnings, is where the excitement lies. For the celeb shows, there is a challenging change and we hope that that will draw in many of them to come and play for a cause.

Q: Salman Khan has taken over "Bigg Boss" from you. What would your message to him be?

A: Yes, Colors had told me that they would be going for someone like him. I am happy that they have taken Salman. I have seen him in his "Dus ka Dum" show and he was most innovative and fun. I am certain he will be very good on "Bigg Boss" as well. The audience loves him as I am certain the inmates of the house will too.

Q: Television seems to be occupying the forefront of your commitments. Is that a conscious decision?

A: No it is not, but it is a facet of entertainment that artists get involved in. I have never minded exploring fresh avenues. I think it is a most challenging format and a lot tougher. Tougher because there are no set lines. Most of it is impromptu and on the spur of the moment. For people like me, who are accustomed to pre-written dialogues, it then does become challenging.

Q: You will also be taking time off to start a film - Puri Jagannath's "Bhuddha" this year? Would you be able to accommodate both television and movies without feeling burdened?

A: Yes, I would be able to. It's more a matter of scheduling than anything else. There will be gaps in the TV format for dates and that is when films could be accommodated.

Q: What would be the next film from your company AB Corp Ltd be?

A: There are a few projects that we are looking at. After the success of "Paa", AB Corp is being looked at with renewed interest. We would want that interest to continue.

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