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Karan Thapar: The TV guy

Think drama in Indian television interviews and the first name that flashes across most minds is Karan Thapar.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2002 20:43 IST

Think drama in Indian television interviews and the first name that flashes across most minds is Karan Thapar. Remember Kapil Dev's breaking down on television? That is still one of the best remembered moments in Indian media, an example of the drama Karan Thapar is able to generate in his programmes.

Not known for putting his guests at ease, Thapar is nevertheless one of the most widely recognised and popular faces of Indian television. Having worked in the medium not in India but in the United Kingdom too, Thapar is perhaps the only Indian journalist to have worked for ten years in television outside India.

Thapar studied at the Doon School and Stowe School before pursuing an Economics, Social and Political Science Tripos at Cambridge, where he was union president for a term. He followed it up with Oxford for D Phil for research in International Relations.

In the early 1980s, Thapar worked for The Times in Lagos. Soon after he was appointed Leader Writer on the Indian subcontinent by The Times, a role he continued in till 1991.

Thapar was then associated with HT Vision Limited followed by Home TV, right from the latter's inception. His programme, Eyewitness, initially a video magazine but later transferred to Doordarshan as a weekly programme, quickly became a window on current affairs tackling all the major subjects of the day and interviewing top politicians of the day.

Other popular television programmes like The Chat Show, In Focus with Karan, and now BBC's Face To Face, a version of the immensely popular Hardtalk followed, establishing Thapar as a name to reckon with. Awards and accolades have aplenty to Thapar. At present he is president of Infotainment Television Private Limited.

Better known for his television shows like BBC's Face To Face, Thapar is as prolific in print too. His popular weekly column in the Hindustan Times, Sunday Sentiments has an avid readership.

First Published: Aug 17, 2002 17:55 IST