At the onset, a lot of people were apprehensive about my move from the 70 mm screen to the 25-inch screen.
But it didn’t deter me from taking the plunge, informs Bachchan, who returns to Kaun Banega Crorepati after six years. The show, he says, allows him to interact with his fans and audience across the table.
That’s the reason he gave the nod to Sony for the fourth season of the show after several meetings. Kaun Banega Crorepati started a decade ago on Star Plus. In less than six months, streets, nightspots and offices would empty by 9 pm. “Computerjee”, “Sure? Confident? Lock kiya jaaye?” became part of common man’s lingo.
Would they return too? Bachchan smiles and says, “I don’t know what kind of changes the broadcasters and producers are planning. The audience has multiplied and changed.
That will be kept in mind while tweaking the format. He recalls the first promo he shot for Kaun Banega Crorepati in London. “The channel and the producers wanted to acquaint me with the format of the show. So, I watched an episode of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? being shot in the studios there.
Subsequently, we took a few pictures and shot a promo there, which kicked off the promotional campaign in India. Once the sets were ready in Mumbai, we had informal and formal rehearsals followed by the actual shoot,” Bachchan reminisces.
The superstar believes that he was just the face of KBC. “Hundreds of youngsters operating on several machines were actually running the show. I had a similar experience a year ago when I saw 700 crew members working on Bigg Boss 3 that had just 12 to 13 celebrity faces.
The crew had great energy and enthusiasm,” Bachchan asserts. KBC 2 ended abruptly in 2004 following Bachchan’s sudden illness and surgery. KBC 3 took off with Shah Rukh Khan as the host, leading to constant comparison between the two.
When asked what Bachchan thought of Khan as the KBC host, he says: “I don’t understand TRP wars. But nothing of what Shah Rukh did on the show should ever be run down because he was splendid.
He did justice to his role and I have always appreciated that,” states Bachchan. The buzz was that if Bachchan didn’t accept Kaun Banega Crorepati 4, his son Abhishek was the next best option.
“No, no. It’s not necessary for him to have agreed to do the show because I wasn’t doing it,” says Bachchan.
And would Abhishek appear on the show’s first episode? “Nothing’s been decided. There will be celebrity-driven episodes and he might appear in them,” he says. The actor, at 68, is currently working with Mohanlal in Kandahar and has green-signalled Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan.
Taking on the quiz show now, isn’t he biting off a little more than he can chew. Bachchan denies, “I haven’t signed a film in two years. I recently accepted one. But it won’t go on the floors till I am shooting for KBC 4.”
Bachchan refuses to be called the trendsetter for Bollywood actors’ foray into television. “It’s not correct to say that. It’s a matter of individual choice,” he retorts.
And with the ever-increasing cost of living, does he feel that the Rs 1 crore booty will still be a draw? “Of course,” Bachchan says, “It’s still a phenomenal amount. It can change hundreds of lives.”
KBC- At a glance:
Kaun Banega Crorepati 4 is expected to start with a finite number of episodes, including celebrity specials. It’s touted to run for three-and-a-half months only, kicking off in October this year. The slots and the number of episodes per week are yet to be decided.
Sources indicate that the channel plans to plug in the show on October 11, Bachchan’s 69th birthday.
Dus Ka Dum 3, the channel claims, will start next year with Salman Khan since airing two big ticket shows at once is not feasible for them.
The phone-lines for participation on KBC 4 open in the first week of August, followed by a stringent sifting process. Later, a mass exam and a video-conferencing session with Bachchan will be held to choose the first set of 10 Fastest Finger First contestants.