Amitabh Bachchan is the real Big Boss

Competition notwithstanding,no one can quite pull off a family show on television like Amitabh Bachchan can.

Written by Priyanka Sinha Jha | Mumbai | Published: October 11, 2013 12:33 pm

With an unmatched visibility and connect across films,new media and television,not for nothing is Bachchan hailed as an iconic actor and biggest brand by viewers.

It was after a long gap necessitated by assignments and travel that I firmly pried the television remote away from the significant other and surfed channels with glee. Yours truly was like the proverbial kid in the candy store what with television having turned into the ultimate starry destination with a whole array of star-helmed shows!

Among the most recent additions to the list of star riddled shows is 24,directed by Abhinay Deo of Delhi Belly fame toplining Anil Kapoor (he is also co-producer for the show). The 50-something Kapoor plays lead in the Indian version of the American series by the same name,wherein he reprises Jack Bauer’s role.

There is,of course,the inimitable Mallika Sherawat too playing bachelorette to the hilt in The Bachelorette India-Mere Khayalon Ki Mallika. In typical Sherawat style,she kickstarted the proceedings (much before the show went on air) by singing her very own breathless version of the Happy Birthday song to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi,declaring him far more eligible than Rahul Gandhi. Well,as far as national debates go,this one would certainly be rather engaging and have the youth totally plugged in. After all,to borrow from the oft quoted news anchor,Arnab Goswami,‘The nation wants to know’ the answer to this one for sure.

As for the widely-talked about Bigg Boss,Salman Khan has turned up his charm,providing the show that much needed glamour and fun element. Reportedly,he has been more involved than earlier times in shortlisting participants,recommending a few of his own.

In this crowded space crammed with high wattage glamour,it would be difficult to pick a favourite but the show that both moved and pleasantly surprised me despite being in its seventh season was none other than Kaun Banega Crorepati.

I tuned in expecting more of the congenial questions & answers but lo,and behold,it held me in thrall as much as the first time when Big B,in his inimitable baritone,set the queries rolling. Over seasons,if it were possible to do so, the superstar host is even better; gracious and encouraging,putting contestants at ease with his repartee and comments. Truly the stuff family shows are made of. We have grown accustomed to felicity of phrase and exemplary performance from the iconic actor,but what sets the show apart is its inclusive nature and the host’s ability to pull it off convincingly. After drawing attention to smaller towns,aam aadmi,besides editions in different languages,the show enjoys a pan Indian appeal like no other (show).

The contestant on the hot seat in the episode I watched,was Johnson Philem,a young man from Manipur,victim of a crossfire bullet during a shootout in the troubled state who,as result of the bullet wounds,was paralysed waist down on KBC. He was given a doosra mauka (second chance) to be able to win enough money for his treatment. Bachchan,deeply sympathetic,even promised the young man that he would ensure that necessary medical guidance by specialists came his way! In its earlier season,an acid attack victim Sonali Mukherjee,a resident of Jharkhand,had been invited on the show.

In a country that has few amenities for the differently abled or physically challenged,not to speak of lack of empathy at large,such an inclusive approach is laudable. That it is being done on a popular format game show tailormade for family viewing,sends out a strong and important message without being preachy.

The inclusiveness quotient is obviously upped by Big B himself who has been thoughtful enough to even include members of his EF-Extended Family spread across the worldwide web in the show,thus seamlessly connecting the dots. With an unmatched visibility and connect across films,new media and television,not for nothing is Bachchan hailed as an icon and biggest brand by viewers.

As he rings in his 71st birthday this week (on October11),he could well take a bow for being the biggest star on television more than a decade after his television debut.

The real Big Boss indeed.

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