T. V.
Rajeev Khandelwal returns to the small screen with a chat show “Juzz Baatt”
-S.P.Chopra New Delhi: A celebrity chat show, that too hosted by television heart-throb Rajeev Khandelwal, will be Zee TV’s silver jubilee gift to viewers.

“We just completed our 25th year of operation and commenced our 26th. So we thought about what new programme we could bring to the viewer. A chat show came to mind as we had not done anything in this space since Jeena Isi ka Naam Hai,” said Deepak Rajadhyaksha, deputy business head, Zee TV.

Titled Juzz Baatt…Sangeen se Namkeen Tak, the show, which premiered last Saturday, will be aired over 26 episodes in the weekends at 7pm.

The show will be hosting celebrities from different walks of life, especially TV stars. “Though they are all actors on screen, there is a division in treatment between TV and movie stars. There has never been a space where life stories of TV stars have been told on a big canvas. Yet they work as hard, if not harder, entertaining audiences daily,” Rajadhyaksha pointed out.

Rajeev, who has straddled both worlds, agreed, “TV actors get four takes to get a shot okay, while in films they can take 15 or more. They work under such pressure that the show won’t get telecast if the next episode is not ready on time. Yet a three-film old movie actor gets much more exposure than a TV actor who has worked successfully for four years.” 

There will be personalities from sports and politics too. “The aim is to humanise the celebrity — what they are like at home, their quirks, their fears,” said  Fazila Allana, the co-producer.

Allana is producing the Karan Johar chat show Koffee with Karan too, but the two formats, she later explained, will be different. There will not be a rapid-fire round to end the conversation. Instead there will be a game of some kind that the interviewee will play with the host. “Including a fun element is the international trend in chat shows now,” Allana told t2. 

Nor should there be a comparison with Rajeev’s first show as host — Sacch ka Saamna. “That followed a format (being an adaptation of the American game show The Moment of Truth). Here it will be a freewheeling conversation where the tone will vary depending on who is seated in front of me. Kahaani kaise nikal ke bahar aayegi will be different (Sacch ka Saamna had contestants hooked up to a polygraph machine). We won’t poke into scandals here nor create controversy. But, of course, if there is an episode in a celebrity’s life I won’t skirt it,” said Rajeev, who is returning to television after a three-year hiatus.  

He admitted to taking “a lot of breaks”. “Work is work. It is barely one-fourth of my life. Otherwise, I travel a lot, I have a house in Goa, I do gardening, go on cycling trips and take care of my parents,” he said on being asked about his life off the shooting floor.

He admitted to be nervous on his return as a host and comparisons with Farooq Shaikh. “The first couple of days on a new set there is always a nervous energy, jaise ki aadmi chaar litre paani peeke aaya hai. Farooq Shaikh saab had done a wonderful job in Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai. If there are comparisons with him it will be a compliment par comparison se darr ke show naa karein toh show banegi nahin!” 

The show opened with brothers Ronit and Rohit Roy and will follow up with the likes of Divyanka Tripathi, Vivek Dahiya, and so on. There will be sports stars and politicians too in the episodes to come, the makers promised. 

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