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"In show business, Himesh is at par with SRK."

By: Taran Adarsh & Asif Merchant IndiaFM
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Farhath Hussain. He's the badshaah of shows in the Overseas territory. The Numero Uno promoter of mega events in U.K., U.S.A. and Canada. Farhath has been associated with the biggest and the best in the business, staging events with Dilip Kumar, Raaj Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Dharmendra, Big B, Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol, SRK, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor, Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra... across the globe. He is currently staging four shows with Himesh Reshammiya, at Wembley [29th October], Glasgow [30th October], Bolton [4th November] and Nottingham [5th November].

"Himesh is a big star," Farhath tells us in an exclusive conversation, "Like SRK, he has the magnetism to attract a massive 12,000 packed-to-capacity audience at Wembley." The sentence catches us by surprise. For, Wembley is one of the largest arenas in the world and performing to a packed auditorium is a rarity indeed. But Farhath feels Himesh can achieve it. And he does [read another report alongside].

Staging an event with Himesh also makes sense, from the economics point of view. "Himesh is a one-man show. With stars, I've to take care of a massive entourage. With Himesh, it's just a small troupe and the money is one-fourth of what I pay to the stars. And if Himesh can pack in as much crowd as an SRK, you can just imagine the profits of the promoters. In show business, Himesh is at par with SRK," Farhath smiles. What is it that works with Himesh? "His songs and his beautifully-shot videos," pat comes the reply, "His music has that distinct quality that has caught on in a big way with the Asians living abroad."

Farhath feels that the presence of Bollywood is only growing with each passing day, but no way does it mean that anything and everything with Bollywood will prove a success story here. "Shows and events take place with unfailing regularity in U.K., U.S.A. and Canada, but not all shows are well received. There are three factors that you need to keep in mind: One, the performers/stars have to have a strong fan-base. Two, the period of staging the event shouldn't coincide with the examination period. Three, the ticket pricing has to be right. Also, it's a package that works. The event has to be truly entertaining," Farhath divulges the success mantra.

Amongst actors, Farhath says SRK, Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai have the charisma to ensure a full house, while Lata Mangeshkar, A.R. Rahman, Adnan Sami and Himesh Reshammiya are the crowd pullers on the music front. What about the paying public? Which nationality constitutes the maximum to make an event a success? "Pakistanis mainly. Of course, Indians love to see their stars in flesh and blood, but Pakistanis are bigger fans of Bollywood than anyone else," Farhath smiles.

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