Amitabh Bachchan was unsure about KBC, was taken to London to watch Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, agreed to host on return flight

Hindustan Times | By
Oct 28, 2020 12:34 PM IST

Actor Amitabh Bachchan’s name has been synonymous with Kaun Banega Crorepati for two decades, but did you know that he needed convincing to host the show?

For the most popular film star the country to jump into the world of television was a risky proposition in 2000. But that’s what Amitabh Bachchan did when he signed onto Kaun Banega Crorepati. As the show completes 20 years, the actor reflected on his experience, and said that he is just as excited to interact with contestants now as he was two decades ago.

Amitabh Bachchan is back as host of Kaun Banega Crorepati.
Amitabh Bachchan is back as host of Kaun Banega Crorepati.

After initially expressing hesitation to commit to the show, Amitabh accompanied Sameer Nair, former programme head at Star TV, to watch the taping of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, and agreed to do KBC on the return flight.

“That clinched it,” Sameer told SpotboyE. “On the flight back Mr Bachchan finally said yes, and we were on. We erected a set for KBC identical to the one for Who Wants To Be A Billionaire. We didn’t cut any corners.”

The actor said that he never expected the show to become as popular as it has. “The format of KBC is unchanged by protocol, and it cannot be altered, but it is the worth and value and participation of the contestants that brings variety each year to this show. They are the heart and soul of KBC. It is they that bring in the stories of their struggle, their challenges and their attitude toward it, their determination to bringing a life changing moment, their concerns towards morality and social impurities and of course the joy and happiness in their victories,” the actor said.

Amitabh said that he treats every contestant as he would a guest at his home. He said, “It is most heartening to witness the boundless joy and happiness the winners express on their winnings! The cheque given to them is a dream-come-true for them. They first begin to count the number of zeros that the amount carries. They have never in their lives ever seen money of this value. Life for them changes within the course of an hour or less. It is quite obviously an unbelievable moment for them. Fourteen years is a long time to be associated with it, with approximately 600 episodes that I have been involved in, it does seem like the enactment of a lifetime, but I have never felt the years go by. I feel as excited about meeting different contestants today as I did on day one.”

Also read: Kaun Banega Crorepati 12: Can you answer sports-related question for 40000 that forced contestant to use all his lifelines?

Amitabh, who recently recovered from the coronavirus, has returned as host for the show’s 12th season this year. The actor has hosted all but one season -- the third, which was hosted by Shah Rukh Khan. Season 12 of KBC has seen many changes. The Audience Poll lifeline has been discontinued because of the pandemic, which has forced the show to proceed without a live audience in the studio. It has been replaced by the Video a Friend lifeline. The number of contestants in the Fastest Finger First round has been reduced from eight to 10, to allow for more social distancing room.

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