Shah Rukh Khan's journey has come full circle. The cheeky Captain Abhimanyu Rai of
is now planning a return to television — not as actor but as producer.
Of course, his company Red Chillies Entertainment has been producing films for a while now, but this will be its first step in television.
"We plan to get into TV in a big way about four-five months from now," says Shah Rukh, as he chats to the media at ITC Hotel The Sonar Kolkata.
In town — once again — for his Kolkata IPL team's encounter with Delhi on Tuesday, Shah Rukh is clearly planning for life beyond IPL and Bollywood, though he will not say so directly.
He is, however, far more candid about the disappointing TRP ratings for his new TV show,
Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain,
and how he is unable to give it the time he should. As certain industry colleagues have helpfully pointed out, it would perhaps be more appropriate to call the show
To his credit, Shah Rukh admits, "I have been in this business for a long time, and know that good things don't always happen. Yes,
is not doing too well, and I feel 70 per cent responsible for the show. So a large part of the blame rests on me, but I will try and do a better job once IPL is over."
As he unconsciously indicates his priorities, he also dissociates himself from the kind of outburst that we have heard from his fellow IPL team owner Vijay Mallya, who has gone public with a no confidence motion against his Bangalore team captain Rahul Dravid. Flooded with questions about his reaction to Mallya's fit of rage, Shah Rukh tries to evade them.
"Why ask me about Bangalore?" he asks. "Every team is going through a crises, but I have great respect for Dravid, I love him a lot." So he wouldn't have gone the Mallya way had his team done badly? The actor smiles and says, "My job is to encourage my players. I know they feel good when I am around."
Vague but significant we think, so we try and extract from him the inside story of why five of his players have been told that their services are no longer required. But Shah Rukh evades this trap, too.
"We followed coach John Buchanan's advice and released them. This is no reflection on their abilities," he says. As he bids goodbye, we realise we haven't even asked him about Bollywood. But such is Shah Rukh's life these days.