What is the USP of the Bhojpuri version of Kaun Banega Crorepati?
It is a programme that looks to connect with the Bhojpuri-speaking masses in rural India.
Any reason you decided to host it?
I want Bhojpuri to be recognised. Despite the number of people who speak it, it still isn’t accorded the status of an official language.
Is that the only reason?
Yes. But I was reluctant at first. Siddharth (Basu) said their surveys showed I was the ultimate “Bihari babu”. If I didn’t do it, they wouldn’t make it.
What’s your catchline on the show?
Instead of “lock kar diya jaye”, I say: “Mari Mohar, Lagai Thappa”.
Who are the celebs on the show?
We’d love to get Laloo Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar. Yashwant Sinha has agreed to come, so have my daughter Sonakshi Sinha, Udit Narayan and his wife.
Will you be tempted to give hints to Sonakshi on the show?
Even if I wanted to, I could not! The show is very transparent.
Are you wary of being compared to Amitabh Bachchan’s act on the original KBC?
We are old friends and hold each other in high esteem....
How do you balance your political and entertainment careers?
Just like Manmohan Singh balances his life between 7 Race Course and 10 Janpath!
What will keep you busy in the next year?
My political and social work apart, I’ll be starring in Aaj Phir Jeene ki Tamanna Hai. It is a mature love story with Rekha as the heroine.
Some Indian actors are making inroads into Hollywood. Are you interested?
It has to be a role befitting my stature, not for small roles like some of our actors. Look at Shashi Kapoor and Amrish Puri—-they came back to India, right?