Okay in the scalding hot seat of let's say the decade, there's Shah Rukh Khan. He will be subjected to many odious and some warranted comparisons with the earlier KBC host Amitabh Bachchan...a test SRK has already gone through with the remake of Don.
Be that as it may, your curiosity has been aroused. Every channel in India wanted the Kool Khan to host a show for fees that would find mention in an Asian edition of the Guinness Book. Maybe spontaneously, he chose to take on the gauntlet of the KBC host. To be sure, there are many perfumed as well as poisoned questions which can be darted at SRK at this very moment...starting with:
Hello hello. How has the KBC shoot been so far?
Every episode is a new episode. It's been fun, exciting. The way every episode turns out hinges more on the performance of the contestant than mine. Some have been extremely spontaneous, warm and friendly. Some have been nervous and shy. I've had to put in that extra effort to put them at ease. I talk to them 19 to the dozen; I laugh and joke with them just I like I have during my 'Live' shows.
It's been quite unpredictable and energizing so far. Till we actually start shooting an episode, we don't know how it will actually turn out.
What are your thoughts then as you go on air?
All I would tell the viewer is to watch the show as a new one... without placing it on a pedestal or pulling it down. We've worked very hard on the show. The channel, the production team and I've done every little thing to make it as entertaining as possible.
I've even done a music video in which I've tried to be 'cool' which will be aired just before the episode.
Since you've been on both, which is more demanding - the hot seat or the host's chair?
I wouldn't say I've been on the hot seat - simply because the last time I was on the show, I was invited to be there. But contestants really have to work hard to be in the hot seat.
They have to call in, get a chance to participate, play the fastest-finger-first round, win it and then reach the hot seat.
Did your son Aryan give you any tips about how to perform, considering the fact that he's a huge fan of the show? It seems you also had mock quiz sessions with him and his friends?
My son and daughter do not like me dressed up formally in suits and ties... which I do for KBC. They prefer to see me in jeans. We enjoy playing questions and answers together. They also come on the sets to see me. My family's with me... they love the show and the fact that I'm on it.
The tagline 'Nau baj gaye kya?' was synonymous with the earlier KBC. What's your?
It's mainly going to be "Kar le kar le tu ek sawaal" but we have introduced some new elements...like I speak in Haryanvi whenever there is a contestant from Haryana. And I've used words like "alat palay" when a contestant asks for a change in question.
Everyone at Star TV and you have gone out on a limb for KBC - is there too much pressure...a point to prove?
Yes, the stakes are very high. We have worked hard towards making it a success. There is anxiety. Unlike a film, which releases on a Friday, gets over and done with, every KBC episode is like a film.
You don't know how the audience will react. There is a certain amount of pressure but we are enjoying it. Whether it's the channel or the production house or me, all of us want to deliver.
Where and whom are you going to watch the first episode with?
My family is not here, so I guess I will watch the first episode with the Star TV team.
Reports about the Bachchan-Shah Rukh war do not seem to stop.
What can I say? No matter what I say, some people like to indulge in stupid talk. The best way to reach is not to say anything.
Will you invite Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai for a celebrity special episode?
It's the prerogative of the production house and the channel to invite whomever they want to. Yes, there are plans to have those celebrity specials like 'Friends of Shah Rukh', 'Hit pairs' and 'Couples', I haven't shot any specials but when the channel decides to invite someone, I will extend a personal invitation too.
But if you ask me, personally I'm enjoying talking to the common man more than anyone else.
Okay, Koffee with Karan will start up soon and you will feature on the inaugural episode with Kajol and Rani Mukherji. Karan and you are friends and you have shows on the same channel.
I am happy for Karan because he is a wonderful and established show host. I hope I am half as good as Karan is...
Can you tell me about your new film Om Shanti Om?
I have started shooting for it. It's a musical set in the'70s. Besides me, there's Deepika Padukone, Arjun Rampal, Kirron Kher and Shreyas Talpade in key roles. It has (director) Farah Khan's brand of humour just like Main Hoon Na.
Will Sushmita Sen be there too?
Well, we just might ask her to be there too. There is a sequence in which we want to get some of the Main Hoon Na cast members like Binduji, Boman Irani... yes so Sushmita too may be part of it.
Finally, there is news of Star CEO Sameer Nair quitting the channel. Does that affect you since you might have agreed to do KBC because of him and Star?
These days, it's a little difficult to believe every piece of news you read or hear. Sameer has not yet told me he's quitting. He has been with me every day at the shoots. We have been working on the edits together. But it does affect me... I've known Sameer for a very long time. He is a nice guy, more a production man than a corporate guy. He's hands-on and he has some great ideas.
Wherever he goes, he will be an asset to that company. Yes, I agreed to be part of KBC because of Sameer and Star as you put it... but even if he quits tomorrow, I will have to see my contract though. I'm committed to Star TV. Still it would be nicer to have Sameer with me till I complete the show.