Just a Minute With: Amitabh Bachchan on going back to TV

Thu Oct 8, 2009 3:54am EDT
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By Shilpa Jamkhandikar

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Almost three years after he left the Indian version of hit quiz show "Who Want's to Be a Millionaire," Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan is ready for another stint on television -- this time as the host of the Indian version of "Big Brother," titled "Bigg Boss."

The 67-year-old actor is arguably the biggest name in Indian cinema and also patriarch of an acting dynasty that includes his son Abhishek and daughter-in-law, ex-Miss World Aishwarya Rai.

Bachchan was the host of "Millionaire" from its 2000 debut and until he fell ill in 2006. Shah Rukh Khan replaced him in 2007, the same year the show was ended.

Now, Bachchan will host the third season of "Bigg Boss," taking over from Indian actress Shilpa Shetty who made international headlines when she won the British version of "Big Brother" after a racism controversy involving her and fellow contestant Jade Goody, who died earlier this year from cancer.

Reality shows are popular among Indian audiences, but some local versions of global series have stirred controversy.

Complaints of infant exploitation hang over the Indian edition of the BBC show "Baby Borrowers'. The Indian version of "The Moment of Truth," in which contestants have to answer personal questions, was also heatedly debated in parliament, with some lawmakers calling for it to be banned.

Bachchan spoke to Reuters recently about why India appears hooked on reality TV and why he would never survive life inside the "Bigg Boss" house.

Q: What made you say yes to hosting "Bigg Boss?"   Continued...