There is hardly a bigger brand name on modern Indian television than ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (KBC), and somewhere the show and the biggest name in Indian entertainment, Amitabh Bachchan, appeared to make a perfect fit. However, not all relations are forever and with Big B stepping down from the show, STAR Entertainment needed a better fitting if not similar fitting match. And it found that fit in Shah Rukh Khan.
There is still time to know how the Indian audiences accept this change, but SRK knows that the stakes are high. STAR Entertainment’s CEO, Sameer Nair, is confident about his bet on SRK, but the actor is both anxious and thrilled about playing himself on KBC. And fortunately for STAR, he is also clear on what the expectations from him are.
Addressing a media gathering in Mumbai, SRK dissuaded any questions asked on the bill to fit Big B by saying, “From what I understand, the anchor’s role would be to play himself or herself than play someone else. It is an established show and I hope to try to the best of my ability to bring in the class, intelligence and integrity that Mr Bachchan brought to the show, and of course, I’m nervous, anxious and thrilled.”
Speaking more on the challenge, he said, “The newness of the show. You can hide behind a character when you are acting, but not when you are playing yourself – it is a different game altogether.” When suggested that he had become more of a juggler with the different media roles and in between an actor and a celebrity endorser, Khan merely said, “I am a performer. There is the saying, ‘Master of none, Jack of all’ – I seem to have made a profession of that! But really, KBC isn’t a digression. It is in line with my profession of entertainment. That said, I really think Baadshah sounds better than juggler!”
KBC is ridden with Bachchan’s characteristic ‘Lock kiya jaye’, ‘Oh ho’, ‘Confident?’ and so on. SRK doesn’t speak on how he will tackle the debate on retaining or changing this style, but he is sure he will bring some of his own. He said, “I’m going to make people smile a lot, even when they are giving the wrong answers. I hope to keep them comfortable.”
Khan informed that STAR was leaving no stones unturned to ensure that he was up to the challenge next month, including setting up a ‘training ground’ at his home in Mumbai. SRK said, “It’s like going back to school, where I’ll study for a month in preparation of the show. We are still working on the nuances of the show like who would be coming, what would be the other finer changes and so on.”
In keeping with the new host, STAR has changed the look and feel of the show as well with red dominating the show’s visuals. Giving his view on this change, SRK said, “Well, Mr Bachchan is like the sky, we all look up to him and so the blue, as for me, I’m the ‘dharti ka laal’!”
As we said, STAR knew what it was doing when they signed on this Baadshah and SRK knows what he is doing. That said, the game has yet to begin. Do we already hear the signature tune playing in our ears?