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Updated: February 15, 2013 00:41 IST

The game changer

Nikhil Raghavan
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Prakash Raj
Prakash Raj

Prakash Raj returns to the small screen as the host of Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi’s second season on Vijay TV.

His tryst with the entertainment industry started way back in 1986 in Kannada serials on Doordarshan. But it was K. Balachander who introduced him to Tamil cinema, in his film Duet. Ever since then, Prakash Raj has had a roller coaster ride in films, except for a brief television stint (2003) in the Tamil serial Sahana.

This year will see the versatile actor take to the small screen again. The second season of Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi will have Prakash Raj quizzing the contestants a la Bachchan, in Kaun Banega Crorepati. The season opens in March. Having launched the first season with Surya hosting it, the producers of the game show, Vijay TV decided to rope in Prakash Raj this time.

Prakash Raj will shed the ‘menacing villain’ look of his films to suit the role of an audience friendly anchor. “In my interactions with the participants, I will have to put them at ease and make them comfortable to get the best out of them. For that, I do not want to appear larger than life with extravagant costumes and make-up. I hope to come across as natural as possible. After all, the participants are here to make money and fulfil their aspirations and dreams,” says Raj. This is the actor’s debut as a television host.

Prakash Raj, currently in Mumbai for orientation with Siddharth Basu, is quite gung-ho about making Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi, a success. Says Raj, “I have not yet met Mr. Bachchan in relation to the show, but have interacted with him several times on earlier occasions. While he is well-read and extremely knowledgeable, his most likeable quality is that he listens. Whatever may be the occasion, he lends a patient ear and that has been one of the success points of KBC. Despite his stature, he is not overpowering with his presence and comes across as a very endearing man. While I will surely pick up a lot of tips from him on how to conduct the Tamil show, I will ensure that my individuality will prevail.”

K. Sriram, general manager, Vijay TV says, “The call to participate in Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi was announced on Vijay TV a couple of months ago. Since then thousands of viewers and fans of the show have responded. Auditions were held at Coimbatore, Trichy and Chennai and the contestants who answered simple questions in the preliminary tests were chosen to participate in the show. People from various parts of India have been selected to participate in this contest and win an opportunity to take the hot seat opposite Prakash Raj.”

***

The format

Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi gives participants a chance to win a cash prize of rupees one crore. As the contestant moves up the money tree, the questions become more difficult with a total of 15 questions leading to the jackpot.

The 10 ‘fastest finger first’, play for the whole week. 

There will be three lifelines to help the contestants. 

Two safe havens at question no 5 and question no 10 assure the contestants minimum prize money of Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 3,20,000 respectively.

Prakash Raj is the right choice for hosting the show. Surya had gone overboard last time round and perhaps that has cost him the chance to host this part. Although Prakash Raj's (nee Prakash Rai) mother tongue is Tulu his Tamil diction is perfect and given his all round skill and popularity should turn up trumps in the show.

from:  C V ARAVIND
Posted on: Feb 15, 2013 at 12:05 IST

One hopes this show does not end up devoting a good part of the time in
singing praise of the host and swooning over his presence like the
earlier one.

from:  R SRINIVASAN
Posted on: Feb 15, 2013 at 10:44 IST
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