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From Tanuja to Suniel Shetty: Television calling for Bollywood celebs

As veteran actor Tanuja marks her Hindi television debut with Aarambh, we look at more actors from Bollywood who took the plunge and enjoyed a successful stint on the small screen.

tv Updated: May 13, 2017 18:00 IST
Anjali Shetty
Tanuja

Veteran actor Tanuja will be seen in a show called Aarambh.(Shivam Saxena/HT Photo)

At 73, veteran actor Tanuja will be making her television debut in a show titled Aarambh. After a successful career in films, the actor, who was last seen in Konkona Sen’s 2016 drama-thriller A Death in the Gunj, will be playing Hahuma in this show that looks at how our society became patriarchal over time.

Television, as a medium with mass appeal and broader reach, has always attracted Bollywood celebs — but mostly as hosts or judges on reality shows. While we’ve already seen big names such as Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Karan Johar and Amitabh Bachchan take up TV shows, here’s a list of film actors who either made their TV debut in the recent past or are getting ready for it.

1. Suniel Shetty 

Suniel Shetty’s new look for his TV show.

Show: India’s Asli Champion… Hai Dum! 

Suniel Shetty is seen as the host in this show that has contestants performing tasks designed to judge not just their physical fitness, but also their grit and determination. Though not completely new to the small screen, Suniel does consider this as his comeback and big break on television. He shared that he is thrilled to be back to the scene with a show that thrives on inspiration and perseverance. Well, considering his knowledge, experience and passion for fitness, he seems to be an apt choice for the show.

2. Riteish Deshmukh

Actor Riteish Deshmukh has earlier judged a couple of reality shows. (IANS)

Show: Yaaron Ki Baarat/ Vikta Ka Uttar

Known for his comic timing and easy equation with all his co-stars, Ritiesh did make for a great host on Yaaron Ki Baarat with filmmaker Sajid Khan. The actor was also seen hosting a Marathi quiz show last year. He has also judged a couple of reality shows while promoting his films.

3. Shilpa Shirodkar

Show: Savitri Devi College and Hospital/ Silsila Pyaar Ka/Ek Mutthi Aasman

After a 13-year hiatus, this ’90s Bollywood actor forayed into television with a daily soap, Ek Muthi Aasman. Her familiar face and record of past films made her an instant hit on TV. It was an unconventional comeback with the role of a domestic help. Now, after two daily soaps, she will be seen in a drama-comedy titled Savitri Devi College and Hospital.

4. Dia Mirza

Dia Mirza’s show is all about travel and adventure. (Viral Bhayani)

Show: Ganga: The Soul of India

This dimpled-beauty is seen exploring and experiencing various adventures on this travelogue. The show has her paragliding, river rafting, rope climbing, cooking and interacting with the locals. 

5. Kalki Koechlin

Kalki Koechlin did a travel show with her father. (Yogen Shah)

Show: Kalki’s Great Escape

The Margherita with a straw actor made her TV debut with a travel show last year with her father Joel. The show had Kalki on a motorcycle adventure to the North East with her father through Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. It was interesting to see her interact with locals and be spontaneous while discovering the terrains. 

Other actors who made their TV debut

Arjun Kapoor: Khatron Ke Khiladi (season 8)

Rahul Khanna: 24

Abhay Deol: Connected Hum Tum/Gumrah

Anil Kapoor: 24

Bipasha Basu: Darr Sabko Lagta Hai

Anita Raj: Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani

Darsheel Safary: Yeh Hai Aashiqui

Amrita Rao: Meri Awaaz Hi Pehchaan Hai