Preity Zinta: Girl,interrupted

The feisty and effervescent Preity is all set to make her debut on the small-screen as a host of Guinness World Records- Ab India Todega.

Written by Anita Aikara | Mumbai | Published: March 19, 2011 9:49:07 am

The feisty and effervescent Preity Zinta is all set to make her debut on the small-screen as a host of the Indian version of the Guinness Book Of World Records. She talks of the tiring long shoots,why the show is her ideal launch-pad on TV and of course,IPL.

Did you watch the Guinness Book Of World Records as a kid?
Yes. I remember that the show was aired on Sundays. I used to watch it with my brother and when he saw a promo of the Indian version,he called me up and said,“Hey! I saw you pull a truck.” That brought back childhood memories of watching Guinness Book… on TV.

How did you get involved with the show?
I remember the day the Colors team approached me to host the show. It was an all-women’s team that had come over to my place to convince me to take up the project. I wasn’t very keen then,but I decided to read the script and soon I fell in love with the project. The show was something that suited my personality. I didn’t want to judge a dance show because I’m not the number one dancer on the planet and just to sit there and judge people wasn’t something that inspired me. I think it’s pointless to judge something of which I have no clue. With the Guinness Book Of World Records- Ab India Todega I was confident as it was a show that I could relate to and enjoy hosting.

This show is the perfect platform for my television debut. There is also a feeling of pride in hosting a show that puts India on an international pedestal and attempts to bring fame for Indians. The show reflects my ideology to keep pushing oneself and compete with the best. Every time I hear of some scam or controversy,it disheartens me. For a change people will get to hear something positive about courageous people and their achievements. I am sure the viewers will enjoy watching the show.

It’s been a two-year sabbatical for you…
For two years I was not doing anything related to entertainment. I was only focussing on cricket. The sport was new for me and I wanted to give it my best shot,which is why I did not want to take up any movies or TV shows at that time. I did get offers from TV producers even then,but by the end of last year I decided that I had spent two years out of Bollywood and it was time to get back. I decided that 2011 was going to be my year of making a comeback to both films and entertainment. So this show came at the right time and I loved the format.

There is a patriotic feeling attached to the show…it’s about Indians breaking records. Does that evoke a patriotic feeling in you?
Yes,very much. Whenever any of the contestants would be very close to breaking a world record,the studio would be filled with people yelling,“Bharat- mata ki jai.” That used to give me a high. The fact that Indians are going to break records worldwide and the fact that this was just not like any of the other shows on Indian TV was the reason I did it. It’s on a global platform and it is going to put me face-to-face with real people from India as opposed to people who want to be stars .

What record would you attempt to break?
I think it would be something associated with adventure sports,though Niret Alva,the show’s producer,wants me to break the world record of walking across two buildings in the shortest possible time.

What research did you have to do for the show?
None,for once I said let us just go with the flow.

Tell us one good thing about hosting the show.
I love adventure and I’ve done it all from bungee- jumping to scuba-diving to sky-diving and this show has a good dose of it all.

What according to you is the worst thing about TV?
Shooting for TV is very tiring. It’s a different medium. The first thing that hit me about TV was the exhaustion. On a film set,you keep waiting for your shots but on TV there is so much work that you feel like asking,“Can I breathe now?” You are constantly standing on your feet and especially on this kind of show where you have a live audience. I used to hate having to stand for hours with my heels on. The only thought that would cross my mind then was “When I can get those heels off?”

Won’t the shoots coincide with the IPL?
No,that was a condition on which I agreed to be a part of the show. I told them that the show had to wrap up before the IPL. Usually a TV show is shot once or twice a week over four to five months. But in this case it was different. After rigorous shoots all of last month and this month,I’ll be through with the 17-episode show before IPL 4 starts.

Will we see you return to the big-screen soon?
Yes,you will see me in movies soon. I have not bid good-bye to films as yet. There’s surely a lot more in the offing.

Is it true that you have turned down scripts in the past few years?
As I told you I was very busy over the past months with the court cases and the fights with BCCI. After the IPL,I plan to take a month off before shooting for my film.

How did it feel to have your team Kings XI Punjab come under the scanner?

I didn’t feel good about it at all. But,one needs to understand that there were allegations against all the teams; we were not the only ones. What’s good is that we emerged clean,and had the court to back us. It feels great that after all the investigations,we went to court and we won fair and square.

Guinness World Records- Ab India Todega

The show will premiere March 18 on Colors. The show serves as a platform for Indians to break existing world records or undertake bizarre and unforgettable acts to make new ones.

Niret Alva co-founder of Miditech Pvt. Ltd. and the producer of the show says,“Unlike the other talent based shows wherein the judges get to decide who goes ahead,in this show the contestant is judged on an objective parameter.”

Over the years thousands of Indians have applied to the Guinness Book Of World Records and Alva’s team has used that database to get in touch with Indians who have some unique talent or skill. “Some of those people will be featured on the show,’ adds Alva.

Every episode will have an outdoor act and a couple of indoor acts. Shabbir Ahluwalia will be anchoring the outdoor acts. The surprise element on the show is the face-off. “The face-offs will take place between contestants who are attempting to break a world record and people who have set the record,” says the producer.

anita.aikara @expressindia.com

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