Composer Anu Mallik, the resident judge on music reality show, Indian Idol for four seasons now, missed the Delhi press conference of Indian Idol 5. An audio-visual with Mallik apologising for his absence was run to make up for it. He reasoned that he was tied up with work and thus had to fly abroad.
While Mallik jokingly mentioned that he wanted Sunidhi Chauhan and Salim Merchant, his new co-judges on the show that goes on air on April 26, to have their share of the publicity, a source from the channel confirms that there is a problem brewing between Sony and Mallik.“Though the figures have been kept confidential, there’s a vast difference between Anu and Sunidhi’s fees and that has created a rift between the channel and Anu,” says the source.
Sources also say that Mallik hasn’t been getting along with Chauhan. “He constantly panned her decisions during the auditions. But she put up with it silently. Anu also doesn’t like the fact that Sunidhi and Salim have been given more prominence in the promotions,” says the source. Chauhan, however, brushes off her tiffs with Mallik as a “normal discussions between two judges”.
Sony marketing head Danish Khan does admit that there are issues between Mallik and the channel. “Yes, there are issues, but we are trying our best to settle the matter because he is the face of the show,” adds Khan.Mallik says, “I’ve had a long association with Sony. We’ve done two seasons of Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega and four seasons of Indian Idol. If the channel wants to sort out issues, I’m open to a discussion,” he adds.