Kaun Banega Crorepati 12 director Arun Sheshkumar: Big B does elbow bump instead of handshake
Ahead of Kaun Banega Crorepati 12 going on air, director on how Amitabh Bachchan is hosting the popular reality show amid restrictions.
Amitabh Bachchan holds the first season of Kaun Banega Crorepati close to his heart — after all, it marked the beginning of a long and joyful association. Though for entirely different reasons, the upcoming 12th season will presumably hold an important place in his 20-year journey with the reality show. Certain that the quiz show will not be hindered by the current crisis, the megastar and the crew began shooting for it earlier this month.
The team, wearing PPE suits and masks, attends to the megastar
"Mr Bachchan keeps saying, 'Kitna vichitra ho gaya hai,'" begins director Arun Sheshkumar, admitting that filming in the post-COVID world entails a host of restrictions. While many participate in the game show with their eyes on the prize, there is no denying that most contestants aspire to be on the hot seat in the hope of shaking hands with their screen idol. "Since a handshake is discouraged in the prevailing situation, Mr Bachchan has devised an elbow bump. He does it in a cute manner; fans will surely imitate him," adds the director.
A crew member sanitises Bachchan's seat
In their bid to be "mentally positive, and not COVID-positive", the unit has adopted necessary precautions on the Film City set. Sheshkumar says that the control rooms have been modified to include glass partitions, thus ensuring that the crew members maintain physical distancing. The unit hands are dressed in PPE suits, and their temperature and oxygen readings are constantly monitored. Bachchan enters and exits the set from a special passage made solely for him. "He interacts with the unit members over the mic, and checks the monitor through a glass partition."
For the first time since its inception, the show — which airs on September 28 — does not have a live audience. "The set has been tweaked accordingly. We will miss them, but everyone's safety is the need of the hour." With the audience missing, contestants no longer have the lifeline of an audience poll. It has been replaced with video-call a friend, in addition to the existing lifelines. "[Upon selection] contestants have to undergo a COVID-19 test, after which they are put in quarantine. They are tested again before the shoot. We have restricted the number of people who can accompany each contestant to one," adds Sheshkumar.
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