After a long and popular career on the big screen, veteran actor Dharmendra turns at the age of 75 to make his debut on the small screen as one of the judges of the reality show India's Got Talent, triggering a wave of excitement among contestants and also fellow judges Sonali Bendre and Kirron Kher.
The romantic hero of yesteryear has high expectations of his TV debut and says laughingly, "If the small screen made my younger brother Amitabh Bachchan 'Big B', then I will become 'Darling D'!"
He approves of the idea of a talent hunt. "A talent hunt made me who I am today so it's my turn to help contestants in pursuing their dreams. I feel there is so much of talent in our country which needs to be exploited. I see one Dharmendra in all the contestants on the show," he says.
Sonali is excited at Dharmendra's presence on the show and says he'll be an asset. "Dharmendraji is a fantastic person. His 50 years of experience is an asset to the show. I learn a lot from him and the experience helps me so much. My mother and mother-in-law are big fans of his.
"Earlier I used to know him as Dharam's grandfather because Dharam is Bobby's son, and my son plays with him. But, after this show, I understand why people love him so much; he is a wonderful human being."
About the show itself, Sonali says: "The talent every season only gets bigger and better. This season has raised the bar and we have seen some meaningful and breath-taking talent."
Actor Kirron Kher knows 'Dharamji' of old. "Dharamji is a genuine and honest person. I have worked with him in the film Apne and I know him personally. He is a pleasure to work with."
Meiyang Chang and Gautham Rode are the hosts for the show.
India's Got Talent will premiere on July 29 at 9 pm on Colors.
Photograph by: Pradeep Bandekar