Many actors and directors like Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar have taken up hosting in the past and been successful at it. While Sajid Khan, who is currently hosting a chat-show on Zee TV called Yaaron Ki Baarat, feels all of them are great hosts, he personally draws inspiration from American actor Billy Crystal. “One host I love watching is Billy Crystal. His hosting was never scripted, it was organic. I have walked a little bit on his footsteps. I have imbibed some Billy Crystal in me. “He used to go into the crowd. I remember during my first award show in 1998, I broke the rule and went into the audience. The TV crew was perplexed but that segment worked!”
Sajid says contrary to the perception that Bollywood celebrities cannot be friends, there are some genuine friendships in the industry. “It’s true that friendships in the film industry are fickle but that holds true for life in general. How often do you mistake your colleagues for friends but in real life they are not… You change job and new people become your new friends. It happens in Bollywood as well.”
The director says some real friendships will be seen on his chat show Yaaron Ki Baarat. “This is a myth that industry people can never be friends because I have friends and even on our show people, who are close in real life, are coming together,” Sajid said. The Zee TV show, which premiered recently, welcomes two Bollywood friends every weekend who talk about their bond. So far, Amitabh Bachchan-Shatrughan Sinha, Parineeti Chopra-Sania Mirza, Farah Khan-Karan Johar and Yuvraj Singh-Harbhajan Singh have been the guests on the show.
Sajid says while all the pairs shared a great chemistry and were interesting to talk to, his favourite episode has been that with Bachchan and Sinha. “My favourite duo has been Mr Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha, for the sheer reason that I am their fan. That’s what made it more special. To listen to their anecdotes and all the tales was just amazing. It was one moment in my life when I was actually nervous hosting.”
What makes Yaaron Ki Baarat a double treat for the filmmaker is that he is hosting it with his close friend, actor Riteish Deshmukh. Sajid says Riteish, with whom he has collaborated on most of his films, is like his younger brother. “Riteish is like Farah to me. I love him dearly and only want the best for him. We respect each other and that’s what shows on screen. “We are hosting together but we never try to get into each other or outdo each other. In fact, I am so protective about him that if I don’t feel he gave a good take I ask for a retake.”
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The show marks Sajid’s return to full-fledged hosting after a gap of six years and the filmmaker says he was dying to get back to it. “I left hosting six years ago to pursue filmmaking. So, I was dying to return to it because I feel it comes naturally to me. I am at ease while doing it. “I also feel I am a very good host and I can push myself to new boundaries without a script. Hosting should be organic and boring an audience with your hosting is the worst you can do. I’m happy to be back and hope to entertain audience again.”