It’s been 12 years and six seasons since Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) saw Amitabh Bachchan make his TV debut. And what a debut it was. KBC marked the beginning of Bachchan’s second innings of stardom, and the show, since, has gone on to become one of the most-watched programmes on Indian television. Now, as he prepares for season six, Big B is most excited about having more women contestants this time around, even as he hopes that prejudices against the girl child are wiped out.
Whether it’s Aamir Khan or Salman Khan, no star has been able to beat your KBC TRPs.
I never look at it that way. Whether it’s Shah Rukh, Salman or Aamir, they have done exceedingly well in their careers. I wish them well. I don’t look at TRPs, I simply do what I’m asked to do and hope that people like it.
Is it your ability to connect easily with people that makes KBC such a hit?
The connect exists only because there’s a good format which works. In India, I feel that when people who are deprived of basic necessities like education and health, due to circumstances, come on the show and win, it is a moment of celebration. KBC is not just a show but a medium to give people that one opportunity. I get very emotional and feel for the contestants when I hear stories of suffering and struggle. I write about the experiences and stories of the contestants on my blog. Many write back wanting to help the contestants and we all do what we can.
What are you looking forward to in this season?
I particularly feel happy about having women contestants on the show, as many parts of our country, even today, aren’t conducive to the girl child, which is really sad. It should be stopped. Many girls are deprived of normal education, as parents feel educating them is a waste of money. Women are the heart of any nation and, as they get more opportunities, they will prove that they are not less than men.Do you relate to the current KBC theme on knowledge being of prime importance in life?
My parents desired that I be a graduate, though at times I felt that it was a waste of time, and that I could have spent those years learning to act. But those opportunities weren’t there back then. I feel blessed now that I have a degree, which is essential in today’s life. Are you are doing Mahesh Manjrekar’s next film?
I have spoken to him and am impressed by the play (Natsamrat). It is a powerful play and performed by some big names. But I will talk about it later. BIG BYTES
On plans for his 70th birthday
You will have to ask the family. I believe they are planning something. I don’t know if there’s any need for the celebration. I was asking them why 70 is looked upon as important and not 71.
On reports of him having signed two more seasons
Yes there have been talks, but Sony would be better placed to talk about it.
On spending time with granddaughter Aaradhya
We manage our schedules according to her and play with her when she’s awake (smiles).