Over the 14 years of its existence, Kaun Banega Crorepati – the popular game show hosted by Amitabh Bachchan, which is offering a whopping prize money of Rs 7 crore in its eighth season – has also turned many an aam aadmi into a celebrity. The first-ever live crorepati of Indian television, IAS aspirant Harshwardhan Nawathe became a household name after he won the ultimate prize money of Rs 1 crore on the first season.
In season five, Sushil Kumar – a small-time data entry operator from Bihar who lived on a meagre salary of Rs 5,000 – won Rs 5 crore. Needless to say, that got him instant fame – with all newspapers and TV channels queuing up outside his house for interviews and sound bytes. The very next season saw
a woman – Mumbai-based tution teacher Sunmeet Kaur Sawhney bag the Rs 5 crore jackpot. She also became media’s darling overnight.
While winning contestants becoming celebrities has now become a routine deal, here is someone whose life has been touched by KBC and Big B in a very unique way. Delhi-based RP Yadav – an Amitabh Bachchan look-alike – has just been roped in to host Aap Banenge Lakhpati, a Haryanvi take on KBC
with a prize money of Rs 5 lakh, which is going to be on air soon.
Although Yadav has nothing to do with celebrity-hood or Bollywood, it is solely on the basis of his uncanny likeness with Big B that he was approached by the Haryanvi channel to host the show. Yadav, who hails from Haryana’s Rewari district, and now lives in the Dwarka suburb of Delhi, not only looks so much like the real movie star in terms of facial features, height and gait, but has also kept the same French beard. “The contestant auditions for the show are on these days and the shooting starts soon. The format is more or less on the lines of original KBC,” he says.
Yadav, who owns an electrical panel manufacturing unit in IMT Manesar, says, “My friends have been telling me since the time Amitji’s first film Saat Hindustani released that this actor looks like me. But that was it. It is only after Kaun Banega Crorepati started airing in 2000, that wherever I went, people would remark, ‘woh dekho Amitabh Bachchan’,” he says.
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But the likeness to Big B has not only landed him the television show and a few low-budget films being produced in Western UP, but also a newfound celebrity status and respect among his family members. His daughter-in-law, Surabhi (no, she is not called Aishwarya), says, “In the last five or six years, whenever we visit any social gathering with my father-in-law, we get VVIP treatment. Our family’s presence is sought-after at most important occasions in the vicinity, and we always get the best seats. I am so proud of him.”
Even Amit’s two grandsons – aged 12 and 8 – are floored by their grandfather’s importance in their friend circle. “At my school’s annual day last year, my grandfather was called as the chief guest. All my friends say that my dadaji looks like Amitabh Bachchan. I tell them Amitabh Bachchan looks like my dadaji,” says the elder one.