The conspicuous absence of the Bachchans notwithstanding, the eighth Zee Cine Awards held on Saturday, March 26, in London, was an impressive show of strength by Zee TV's newly appointed head-honcho Pradeep Guha.
Guha had earlier spearheaded glamorous events for the Bennett Coleman and Co Ltd, including the Filmfare awards.
The four-hour long extravaganza was hosted by Karan Johar.
One of them was the exclusion of Alka Yagnik from the best female playback category. Sunidhi Chauhan walked away with the award for her title song in Dhoom, thereby sending out a signal that, as far as music went, it was time for the younger brigade to take over.
The point was further driven home by Kunal Gunjawala's win in the male playback category over seniors like Udit Narayan and Sonu Nigam. Gunjawala, who crooned his award-winning song, Bheege hooth tere, in the film Murder, on stage even though he had the flu, prompting Asha Bhosle to comment, 'If this is what he can do with flu, we can imagine what he can do otherwise!'
Veer-Zaarabagged the most number of awards, including best actor, best supporting actress (Divya Dutta), best film and best director (Yash Chopra).
While collecting the director's trophy, Chopra announced his withdrawal from all directorial awards in future.
Farah Khan bagged the best debutante director's award for Main Hoon Na, while Anu Malik won the best music for the same film.
Surprisingly, Abhishek Bachchan who won the award for best negative performance for Yuva at other award functions, bagged the best supporting actor's award for his performance in Revathy's Phir Milenge.
Incidentally, a special award was instituted in memory of Karan Johar's father, Yash Johar, for the best producer. The award was given to Yash Johar's friend and colleague, Yash Chopra.