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Friday, 29 September, 2000, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
Star to stay on Indian Millionaire show
The show has proved immensely popular in India
By Sanjeev Srivastava in Bombay

Indian movie megastar Amitabh Bachchan has said he will continue to host the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? - ending intense speculation about his next move.

Amitabh Bachchan: Intense speculation about next move
In an exclusive interview with the BBC, Bachchan said he had finalised arrangements with Star TV to continue with Kaun Banega Crorepati - as it is called in Hindi - for at least another year.

The gameshow, popularly referred to as KBC, made the Murdoch-owned Star TV Hindi channel, Star Plus, the top Indian satellite channel in a matter of weeks.

The show, which went on air in July this year, was to have an initial run of 130 episodes and Bachchan's contract with Star was to end early next year.


The immense popularity of KBC has not only prompted rival TV channels to announce plans for their own game shows, but had also sparked off speculation about Amitabh Bachchan's next move.

Kerry Packer has been a good friend for the last five to six years. And yes, there were many offers.

Amitabh Bachchan
In the last few weeks, several Indian newspapers carried reports about how the star anchor was being wooed by rival channels, especially Kerry Packer's Channel Nine, which has recently started doing two hours of programming for the state-controlled Doordarshan TV.

"Mr Kerry Packer has been a good friend for the last five to six years. And yes, there were many offers."

"But I have reached an agreement with Star to do many more episodes of KBC," Bachchan told the BBC.


Asked whether it will be an exclusive contract, Bachchan said while final details are still being hammered out it is understandable that Star will not want him to do a game show for any other channel.

"The condition of exclusivity is understandable and quite fine with me," he said.

Bachchan said he is himself surprised by the huge success of KBC.

"I think more than me it is the format of the show which is responsible for the game show's huge success," he said.

Amitabh Bachchan said his first love will always remain films - although he will continue to look for good opportunities on the small screen as well.

"I came to Bombay 30 years ago to become a film actor and it was through movies that my creativity got channelled. But for films I would not have got a break on TV," he said.

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See also:

21 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Murdoch's Millionaire fight
31 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Indian cinemas are Millionaire losers
30 Aug 00 | South Asia
India's battle of the airwaves
11 Jul 00 | South Asia
Bachchan: India's comeback kid
19 Apr 00 | South Asia
Bollywood star lands Millionaire show
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