“Yes, I’ve been approached by Sony TV to host the next two seasons of KBC,” admits Amitabh Bachchan, who wrapped up Season 4 last night. The game show will reportedly be back by March 2011. “When? Why? How? I have no idea,” he shrugs. “Sony TV would be in a better position to answer these queries. All I can say is that we are in talks.”
Star and Colors have also approached him and the star is open to more TV offers. Pointing to his long association with both channels, with Kaun Banega Crorepati and Bigg Boss 2, Bachchan says, “We’ve met and spoken but nothing has been locked yet.’
The actor says that he was initially apprehensive about returning to KBC. He reasons that almost a decade had passed since Kaun Banega Crorepati went on air in 2001. “I believed that the show had run its course but Sony was confident it hadn’t and insisted they do it with me,” he reminisces. However, the overwhelming response to Season 4, from the first episode, took him by surprise. He attributes it to the changes brought in — cutting down the questions to 12, putting in a timer, having an additional lifeline, increasing the prize money and the contestants themselves.
“It’s not just the educated elite from the metros who’re high on IQ and GK. Many of this season’s winners were from places we’d never heard of and backgrounds not conducive to superior education. But in 50 minutes, many of their lives changed. For me, a contestant is like a guest in my house, and it was beautiful sharing their joy,” Bachchan smiles, saying the show has succeeded in bringing families together for an hour, Monday to Thursday.
“Usually, the women have their soaps and serials, the men have their news and sports, and the kids their cartoons. But someone told me that his son who is in his 20s has over the last few months, turned up regularly in front of the TV at 9 pm, returning to his computer, music and buddies an hour later,” says Bachchan, admitting that his own family too would often get together and try to guess the answers, setting off friendly debates. “On the day KBC 4 was unveiled, friends, family and colleagues, about 30 of them, gathered to watch the show. And they were all trying to get the answers right even without the lure of the R 5 crore jackpot,” he laughs.
Recently, Bachchan recorded a song with Kailash Kher, Dharti pe jannat ka nazara… exclusively for the show. And along with it, introduced the Hanuman Chalisa CD that he will be bringing into the market soon. “Initially, I wasn’t sure KBC would be the best platform to announce the Hanuman Chalisa but when I heard it, I realised it was more inspirational than religious,” he says. “Now I’m looking forward to its release.”
So, any plans for the New Year? He says, “Not the day in particular but as far as the year goes, I’m looking forward to doing more TV, a few good films, poetry recitals… There’s so much you can pack into 24 hours and 365 days.”