Joined: 04 August 2005
|By L. Chougule|
W hat do Mandira Bedi, Rakshanda Khan and Aman Verma have in common? They are actors who have made it big as anchors of reality shows. They have had their fair share of success as actors, but it is as anchors that this trio is tasting celebrity. If acting made them television stars, anchoring has made them star hosts. There are as many anchors as there are anchor-based shows, but currently it is Mandira, Rakshanda and Aman who are hogging the limelight in their high profile and well-promoted shows – Deal Ya No Deal, Jodee Kamaal Ki and Indian Idol respectively.
The real test of popularity is when people remember you by your name and not that of the character you play. Anchoring allows you to connect with viewers with your real name and personality. The way you present and conduct yourself, talk, your sense of humour, confidence, poise…everything is the real you."
Aman, who rates himself as a better actor than an anchor, says he has never felt comfortable being known by the name of the character he plays. "I was known as Anupam Kapadia of Kyonki…, but Khullja Sim Sim made viewers forget Anupam Kapadia. My decision to step into hosting was deliberate. It made a huge difference to my career."
Ditto for Mandira who connected with viewers through various character names of her serials like Shanti and Aurat till cricket and Extraa Innings changed it all. "It gave me a platform to explore anchoring, which was considered to be man's territory," smiles Mandira. After the initial hiccups, she carried herself confidently in the company of senior cricketers. "I know I am not an expert, nor am I a commentator. I was not there to analyse the game. I represented the lay viewer, especially women. My job was to retain their interest by bringing the discussion/analysis to the level of lay viewers."
Mandira, who replaced Madhavan in Deal Ya No Deal, has added energy, excitement and drama to a show. "Mandira has added glamour, seductiveness and fun," says Anupama Mandoloi, Sony's vice-president, on-air programming, "We are besieged by phone calls from people wanting to participate in the show. The awareness level has increased, and the show is beginning to pick up. Mandira has made a lot of difference to the show."
In acting, character overshadows the person and the director is the one who calls the shots. "But in anchoring the person controls the proceedings," says Rakshanda Khan who is hosting Jodee Kamaal Ki, a celebrity game show based on the theme of love, companionship and understanding as well as Indian Idol Takatak. "When I am anchoring there's more of Rakshanda and it's more real because I get to project myself. In acting I project and become someone else. The feelings, emotions, gestures and manners are those of the character," says the immaculate and inimitable host who not long played Mallika in Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin.
However, it can be said too that anchoring has affected their acting careers. Mandira notes sadly that acting offers have almost dried up. Rakshanda is currently playing a sweet and obedient wife in Kyonki…and Aman has picked up a cameo in Ek Ladki Anjani Si and will be soon seen in Viraasat on Star Plus.
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