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|April 28, 2001||
'Children are unbelievably intelligent!'
Kaun Banega Crorepati, telecast on Star Plus television, which has re-written prime time success with its unparalleled ratings ever since it hit the small screen in July last year, has become an integral part of the common man's daily life, says the show's mega anchor Amitabh Bachchan.
"Children are unbelievably intelligent!" The Big B said at a press conference for KBC Junior hosted by Star Plus, on April 27.
Recalling his experiences while shooting KBC Junior, he laughed. "The kids actually made me cry! After I asked a question on a comic character to an 11-year-old Sikh boy, I asked him whether he knew what food the character ate. The boy answered spinach. So I asked him if he eats spinach. The young lad said, of course, sarsoh ka sag, makke ki roti. And he looked at me as if to say, what an idiot you are, asking me such a foolish question!"
Bachchan noted that even though the younger generation was extremely intelligent, they were prone to take high risks, not taking into account the stakes involved.
Siddhartha Basu, the brain behind KBC, who was also present at the press conference, said that KBC Junior had received tremendous response from children. Over six lakh calls were received within three days!
"It is interesting to note that for KBC Junior, the enthusiastic callers comprised more of young girls than boys. Also the correct answers were higher in KBC Junior."
The channel said that the amount won by the children will be invested in HDFC Children's Gift Fund and will be given to the winners after they become 18 years of age.
Besides, the ten final contestants walk away with a personal computer from Compaq, among other fabulous gifts from Star Plus, irrespective of winning.
Basu said that the serial owed its success to Bachchan's charisma, diligent preparation and deep understanding of the show.
He says he is overjoyed if a contestant does well. "There would be an element of acting in his performance if he had a script. But it is not so."
Speaking about his company ABCL, Bachchan said, "It is still a sick company referred to the BIFR. The company has paid most of its dues and only two to three per cent remain outstanding."
ABCL is foraying once again into film production with Aks by Rakesh Mehra, starring the Big B himself and Manoj Bajpai. Mehra will also direct a film starring the superstar, along with wife Jaya and son Abhishek. A third film directed by Mansoor Khan stars Aamir Khan.
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