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What was your first reaction when you were offered Ke Bani Crorepati?
I was a bit nervous and unsure when I was approached for the show. But the producers told me that this show won’t happen if I said ‘no’ to them. Ke Bani Crorepati is a tribute to the Bhojpuri language.
Like Amitabh Bachchan says ‘Lock Kiya Jaye?’ on Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC), what will be your catch phrase?
There will be lots of such phrases on my show. If there is Lock Kiya Jaye, then here it can be Maar Mohara Lagavo Thappa.
Amitabh is an old colleague and now you are hosting the Bhojpuri version of KBC. Are you ready for comparisons?
Just don’t compare me with him…there is no need. See, Amitabh has already proven his success as KBC host. I know there are certain features that people will find similar in us…we both are tall, have good voices and accent, and have excellent sense of extempore, wit and humour. But then, I know there will be comparisons.
Since you are from political background, which is one politician who you think has the capability to win Rs 1 crore on your show?
There are many of them; like, Yashwant Sinhaji (former Union Finance Minister) has agreed to be a celebrity contestant on my show. He is a well-educated man, very good in general knowledge. He is very strong in history. We are also trying to convince Lalu (Prasad) Yadav (Rashtriya Janata Dal chief) to come to my show. We also want Nitish Kumar (Bihar Chief Minister), who gave a new direction to the state, on our show.
What about the Bollywood brigade?
Govinda (actor) and Udit Narayan (singer) have agreed to come, we are in talks with Salman Khan. Sonakshi will also be on the hot seat before me. Audiences will finally get to see baap-beti together first time on the small screen.
Talking about Sonakshi, what changes did her DABANGG debut bring in your life?
Sonakshi is indeed an answer to our (me and my wife Poonam’s) prayers. Being the only daughter of the family, she is our darling. She is still a baby to us. Now that the situation has changed, sometimes Poonam, my sons Luv and Kush and I get to bask ourselves in the new-found glory of Sonakshi. But that’s what happens outside our house. At home, we are still one…we are a loving and great family.
You talk a lot about your wife Poonam Sinha. Will we see her on the hot seat?
I don’t have guts to approach her. (Laughs)
We are seeing you in very few films these days. Are you taking a backseat?
See, fact is, I cannot accept any role after spending over four decades in the Hindi film industry. I have to pick a role that suits my image, a script that is sensible. At the moment, there are three films up for release- AAJ PHIR JEENE KI TAMANNA HAI with Rekhaji, BODYGUARD (with Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor), and AAP JAISA KOI NAHIN (with Raj Babbar).
After 20 years, we will see your pairing with Rekha. Did AAJ PHIR JEENE KI TAMANNA HAI help you two sort out your differences?
Rekha has matured a lot. I enjoyed a lot working with her again. She is one of the most talented and beautiful actresses the Hindi film industry ever had.