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CNN's new show on art and culture

Icon explores the memorable facets of art and transcends boundaries in terms of culture and influence; Monita Rajapal, news anchor with CNN, will host the show.
Hindustan Times | By Nikhil Taneja Nikhil Taneja
UPDATED ON SEP 25, 2010 04:58 PM IST

In an attempt to create a programme that would explore the people, places or things that have made art and culture what it is, CNN, has recently launched a unique show, Icon.

“In Icon, we wanted to highlight a world that transcends boundaries both in terms of culture and influence,” says the show’s Indian-origin presenter, Monita Rajpal, who is a news anchor at CNN since 2001. “It is about all the memorable facets of our society that stand out and leave an impression.”

USP of the show is its diversity, feels London-based Rajpal. While the first episode of the show covered art and fashion in Paris, the second one delved into the legacy of guitar legend Les Paul, and the third one looks into the advertising.

“We are not only focusing on established icons,” explains the veteran news anchor, who counts Mikhail Gorbachev, Tom Ford and IM Pei among her top interviews. “We are also covering people, places, or things that have the potential to be iconic.”

To generate interest in the show, CNN has launched a monthly poll on its website, where it asks people to vote for their icons. Michael Jackson topped the first poll as a music icon, and the second declared Pablo Picasso as an art icon.

Asha Bhosle represented India in the nominee list for the music icon poll, but India is conspicuous by its absence in the other polls. Rajpal, who cites the U2, architect Frank Gehry, artist Damien Hirst and Oprah Winfrey as her personal icons says, “India doesn’t need a PR campaign to be loved.” “From the food, to the music, art and buildings, there has always been an awareness of India and what is has to offer, globally,” she says.

Rajpal is looking forward to discover many popular destinations and people on coming episodes of the show. “We’re focusing on one of my loves in the next episode – architecture – and we will be in Venice and Philippe Starck for the same,” she concludes.

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