Is celeb power the saving grace of ‘Paanchvi Pass’?

June 15th, 2008 - 7:13 pm ICT by IANS  

By Vidushi Bhatia
New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) STAR Plus’ Reality quiz show “Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain” is witnessing a bevy of celebrities never seen on the hugely popular “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (KBC) hosted by superstar Shah Rukh Khan. Are celebs taking the focus away from the show? Siddhartha Basu, the producer of the show, denies it saying: “The celebrity special on the show is according to the original plan and it does not mark a movement away from its basic nature as a quiz show.”

Although KBC had its own share of celebrities coming in to exercise their brains, it was never as frequent as it is on “Kya Aap…”. Almost every week, two or more celebrities add glamour and laughter to the show with their presence.

From television actors like Gauri Pradhan and Hiten Tejwani to Bollywood icons Karan Johar, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Harman Baweja, and Priyanka Chopra - all have come and played their bit on the latter quiz show.

Even Railways Minister Lalu Prasad has graced the sets.

Most of these stars are close associates of Shah Rukh and hence, more than the game, humour and pranks persist on the episode.

“Closeness to the host is neither a qualification nor a disqualification for the celebrities to be on the show. It is just the liveliness of their participation on the show and also their availability,” Basu told IANS.

He went on to explain that “the first celebrity special on ‘Paanchvi Pass…’ featured TV soap stars and the last has popular politician and Union Minister Lalu Prasad. That is two of the four specials in this season of the show.

Commenting on this, Basu said: “There is no occupational restriction except the widest possible mass appeal, and in our country, on all media, super celebrity on a national scale draws from the A list of cinema, cricket, national politics, and a few TV personalities.”

Whatever may be the case, do these special episodes manage to boost the Television Rating Points (TRPs)?

“A lively celebrity episode always helps in promoting the show as a whole and usually rates well. Celebrity participation is just one part of innovation and variety,” said Basu.

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