Six months ago, a well-wisher of India’s most popular quiz show launched an initiative on Facebook asking for the show’s return. Before the 19-year-old Sydenham College student knew it, he had garnered over 1,60,000 ‘likes’ on the Bring BQC Back page. And along with that online attention, he earned BQC’s parent company Cadbury’s attention.
Meanwhile, quizmaster and likely Rajya Sabha candidate Derek O’Brien had been doing some of his own work to get the quiz contest reinstated on television. As early as May, Derek had written, via his handle on the micro-blogging site Twitter, that talks where in progress with Cadbury to bring BQC back on air and to “watch this space”. But the news only went viral after Derek tweeted saying, “Great news. Breaking news. Bournvita Quiz Contest is back.”
Cadbury has now officially announced that the iconic show will be aired on Colors every Sunday, starting August 14, from 10.30 am to 11 am. “We are excited with the exceptional response received on Facebook to bring back BQC,” mentions Narayan Sundararaman, director for powdered beverages, gum and candy, Cadbury India, adding, “BQC has a proud tradition of past winners becoming stalwarts in their respective fields and we are glad to introduce it on air once again, with (quizmaster) Derek O’Brien.”
Although the show went off-air in 2007, the former quizmaster is quick to remind us that “BQC never went away.” “The ground events have been going on without a stop since 1993. We do 900 events a year in 3,500 schools thus reaching out to over a million kids,” he says.
Though the traditional format of the show is left unchanged — the quiz contest is still an interschool event among class seven and class eight students — there are significant changes. For starters, Derek will now be accompanied by model-actor Saumya Tandon as co-quizmaster.
Additionally, the show will now be hosted in Hinglish. “This is what excites me the most because it can reach out to a lot more people,” Derek says. For the Internet-friendly, BQC will continue for 15 more minutes post-show (till 11.15 am) on Twitter. Derek will be quizzing tweeple from his handle quizderek.
To participate, people are invited to post their videos on www.youtube.com/bournvitaquizcontest and one winner will be chosen per show to ask the students a question. “To choose the winners, we’re looking for style more than anything else,” says Derek.
Back in BQC
* BQC began in 1972 as a live event held in cities across India. It then became a radio show.
* In 1972, it aired as a show on Zee TV followed by Sony.
* The original quizmasters of the show were Hamid Sayani and brother Ameen Sayani.
* O’Brien took over in 1992.