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21 Years Of KBC: Sameer Nair Who Spearheaded KBC Looks Back !



Kaun Banega Crorepati

This  Month  on July 3 marked  21  Years  Of  KBC,  Sameer Nair  Who Spearheaded  KBC  Looks Back  At The Game-Show That Was A  Game-Changer  For  Indian Television.

20 years  and still going strong! Did Sameer Nair, now CEO of Applause Entertainment who was back then in the year 2,000 the  programme head at Star  TV, ever think that Kaun Banega  Crorepati(KBC) would become such a longevous phenomenon?

 Recalling   the  beginnings of what turned out to be a  masterplan Sameer Nair  remembers walking  into the Bachchans’ home Jalsa armed with the  VHS of  Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, the  original  version  of KBC.  “Was I sure  that  it was  going to be  Mr Bachchan? Absolutely. I was  absolutely  sure  it had to be  Mr Bachchan. Only he had the clout to enter every household.  At that  point of time  nothing else was certain.Would the concept work in India? Mr Bachchan himself  was  advised  by everyone  to not get  into television. I left  the  VHS  with him  urging him  to ‘Push Play’”

This  was in January 2000. After months  of indecisiveness  Sameer  flew to London with  Mr Bachchan in April to  witness the  shooting  of Who Wants  to Be  A  Billionaire firsthand.

Says Sameer, “That clinched  it. On the flight  back  Mr Bachchan  finally said  yes, and we were on. We erected a  set for KBC identical to the one  for Who Wants To Be  A  Billionaire. We  didn’t cut any corners.”

KBC was decisive  for both Mr Bachchan’s career  and  for  the Star channel. It resurrected  Mr Bachchan’s career.  The  Star channel  went from  0  to No.1.

Says Sameer, “We had a viewership of  25 million  on  2,000.It went up  to 90 million  on 2010. What KBC did  was  to  reinvent Mr Bachchan’s image  . It made him  the  household favourite  in every family. He was the hero of the father and the mother. They  introduced their hero to the  son and the daughter  of   the family.”

Looking back  Amitabh Bachchan  says  he  never  expected   the show to be so  popular. “No never ..I do believe, as do many, that KBC has become a life-changing experience for many ,. particularly those that come from middleclass India. Living and sitting in the comfort of our individual metros we are completely unaware of the conditions and the lives and the thinking of our own countrymen that inhabit the interiors and the rural regions of India. When these contestants find their space on this KBC platform it is a dream like experience for them.

The format of KBC is unchanged by protocol, and it cannot be altered, but it is the worth and value and participation of the contestants that brings variety each year to this show. They are the heart and soul of KBC. It is they that bring in the stories of their struggle, their challenges and their attitude toward it, their determination to bringing a life changing moment, their concerns towards morality and social impurities and of course the joy and happiness in their victories .

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