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Art of talking

Aditya Narayan speaks to Minakshi Saini on what it takes to become a popular host.

tv Updated: Jul 25, 2008 14:54 IST
Minakshi Saini
Minakshi Saini
Hindustan Times

What’s the secret of your association with Zee TV’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa?
Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and I have a 15-year-old bond. Earlier, I was a keen viewer and now I am the host. The quality of the show is different from other reality shows and, of course, it marked the beginning of my career as an adult.

What do you like most about your job?
Hosting allows me to interact with so many people. And the best thing about hosting this show is that there has never been any compromise on the quality of its singers.

You’ve just had an image makeover — what pushed you to it?
Everybody’s facing competition and I am no exception. Earlier hosts were just required to introduce the performers. But now things have changed a lot. You won’t see middle-aged men or women hosting shows unless they are major celebrities. Nowadays, hosts are the crowdpullers. Accordingly, they have to be more conscious of how they look. If you notice, now hosts are tall, good-looking and have a great screen presence. There is a lot of competition and I want to win this race. And I know I have to work really hard for it.

You were sporting spectacles at the launch of the show — is that part of your new style statement?
People mistook it as my style statement — it’s not actually. I need them to correct my eyesight. When I’m offscreen I prefer to wear glasses. But yes, my spikey hair and the new look is more casual and sporty.

What about your six-pack abs?
I am working on my looks, and it’s noticeable, too. When someone like a 40-plus Shah Rukh Khan can have abs, why can’t I?

Between Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2008 and Challenge 2009, how much have you learnt in terms of hosting a show?
I am no longer a host who reads out lines from a script and calls himself an anchor. I constantly interact with the judges, contestants and audience. I believe, I have learnt with experience. I am much more comfortable on stage now.

Are you working on other television shows?
On the small screen, if there is something bigger than Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, then I might think of doing it. But I can’t just do any other stupid reality show. I don’t want people to say, “Yeh paise ke chakkar mein bekaar show kar raha hai.” Instead, I will just ask Zee TV to pay me more so that I can stick to this show.