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HindustanTimes Sat,01 Nov 2014

Where are the celebs, boss?

Aditi Caroli, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 23, 2013
First Published: 16:53 IST(23/8/2013) | Last Updated: 13:54 IST(26/8/2013)

International reality TV show Big Brother may boast of big names every season, however, its Indian avatar Bigg Boss seems to be running out of steam when it comes to the celeb quotient. Or so wonder ex-inmates, who rue the fact that relatively unknown names now seem to be on the show’s list as it enters its seventh season, soon.

Names of small screen actors such as Sargun Mehta, Ravi Dubey, Gurdeep Kohli, Pratyusha Banerjee and Kushal Tandon are currently in the offing. 

This is unlike earlier seasons when celebs such as Miss World Diana Hayden, actors Ravi Kisan, Ashmit Patel, Poonam Dhillon, Shamita Shetty, music director Ismail Darbar, wrestler Khali, and former cricketer Vinod Kambli participated.

Big Brother UK, the original show, meanwhile, continues to maintain good celeb participation. Celebs like TV personality Heidi Montag, model Paula Hamilton, football manager Ron Atkinson, singers Claire Richards, and Rylan Clark were seen in the last three seasons.

Explaining why celebrities don’t participate in Bigg Boss, actor Sambhavna Seth, who participated in season 2 of the show, says, “The show is in its seventh season, they may have run out of names now. Also, a lot of people have a problem with their private life coming out in public.” 

Rakhi Sawant, also an ex-participant says, “Big personalities won’t be seen here as they wouldn’t want to spoil their image. They only show the grey side of your personality.” 

Pooja Bedi, who was in the show in season 5, says, “There are too many tasks involving naach gaana. There are too many film promotions on the show. Hence, there is lack of interest among celebs to participate.” 

Adman Prahlad Kakkar feels that even if big names join the show, they will do so for a bit. “Big names won’t stay in for long. Rumours are that most of it is staged and they threaten to throw you out if you don’t do what they ask,” points out Kakkar. “The channel doesn’t have the budget to get big names. They pay all the money to the host (Salman Khan is reportedly charging Rs. 5 crore an episode),” says Rakhi. 

The channel refused to comment when contacted.

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