Karan Thapar is perhaps one of the best known anchors the country has. His website introduces him as the only Indian television professional who has worked for 10 years in television outside India.
Perhaps, but with time we will have some more TV journalists who will move to the country after a decade or so in foreign lands.
Thapar though is known for more than his bit in Britain. It was his style of questioning, interruptive and if you thought you would like someone to stitch up Arnab Goswami’s lips for being abrasive, there was a time when one wanted to actually give Thapar, what they say in Mumbai street lingo, ek, kaan ke neechey . He was so very rude! But, then, he was the man who could ask the tough questions, and it’s just that in the early days more than ever, as Arnab said, we were too used to watching Doordarshan- like easy interviews.
In a chat with Madhu Trehan on NewsLaundry. in, Thapar said he now interrupts much lesser than before as he’s grown wilder and thanks to his experience.
In recent years, he has been with TV18 doing shows for CNNIBN and CNBC- TV18. Last year, around the time the group was rationalising operations and shedding manpower, there were rumours that Thapar too could face the axe. He didn’t exit immediately, but hopped on to Headlines Today.
The channel needed someone like Thapar to beef up its line- up.
It’s been around for 11 years, and this isn’t the first time when it’s tried to get Thapar on board, one learns. For long, Headlines Today played a deprived sibling to Hindi channel Aaj Tak and it appeared India Today group chairman Aroon Purie was happy with it.
So even as Rahul Kanwal has gotten better with time, he’s still a notch lower than an Arnab- Rajdeep- Barkha. The others are good, but it’s the primetime show’s that decides the fate of a news channel.
Thapar’s ‘ To the Point’ on Headlines Today didn’t see him grill his guests last night, but I guess he will get there. Soon.