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I, me, myself

A tête-à-tête with VJ Craig, the popular host on SS Music during his recent visit here

HE HAS a cherubic face set with intense eyes, and is popularly known as VJ Craig. He hosts the popular dial in show Reach Out on Southern Spice a.k.a SS Music everyday between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. and his other programmes are College da and I Me and Myself on the same channel. "College da is an informal programme based on the `Where are you going? College da' jargon. We go to prestigious colleges as part of the series.

The latter is a celebrity-based show where the stars share their deepest darkest secrets," says VJ Craig. Some of the celebrities to have appeared on the show are Mammooty, Madhavan, Shriya, Laila, Mohan Lal, Vikram and now Nagarjuna. Craig was in town to interview the actor for I Me and Myself and also to promote the forthcoming VJ Factor, SS Music channel's VJ Hunt to be held early next month at Bottles & Chimney.

"We would be conducting auditions in Cochin, Bangalore and Hyderabad apart from Chennai. The response for the contest has been tremendous. For instance, we received over 5,000 applications for the audition that was held at Chennai recently. We will probably be choosing five finalists from each state.

They would be groomed to host programmes from the brand new stack of shows that will be allotted to them based on their personalities. Essentially the person must have multi linguistic skills, ability to carry oneself without dropping off clothes, individual style and the right attitude," he says.

On the vital qualities that a VJ ought to have, "People tend to put on a fake attitude, that's when they fumble. They only have to be themselves. Another essential thing to keep in mind is `never insult' anybody when on air. It is sad when you think insulting others is being cool. On the contrary, you are just a small drop. Importantly, don't pick sides voicing opinions on issues.

If you don't know something, why say it! Remember, veejays are what teenagers look up to today as icons. Finally, never ever rely on scripts. Bend it to the maximum and be spontaneous. Get information from the net, books or wherever, cram it in your brain and churn out a script," he advises.

A voracious reader, Craig ensures he is update with trends around and tries to add more to his vocabulary when it comes to south Indian languages. Born in Bangalore, "my father is French and my mother, Italian.

I picked up Tamil while doing my graduation at Chennai National College after we moved to the city. Now I can speak eight languages including Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Hindi," he says. Hasn't he thought of moving over to the silver screen. "I have acted in Six Inch Red Ribbon, a short film on AIDS, though I play comic relief. Seriously, I have had offers but I'd rather direct," he says. Currently he is working on his book, "on my scripts, short stories and ad concepts, so that someone else will make a film if I don't. I plan to do an MBA if I can crack the CAT," says the computer science graduate.

That brings us to his other passion--video games, having a record of clocking 72 hours non stop gaming, apart from listening to music from alternative rock, retro, trance, techno to fusion. But his favourites remain the classics— Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd. Ask him on his penchant for cuisine, since he has two of the best spreads, back home? "I am a walking trash can. I consume anything edible," he says. Well, he's the answer to a Cyrus Broacha down south for you and seems to love every minute of his presence on SS Music for now. As an explanation to his fame, "I fell of a fourth floor and got this bump on my head that shows on my thinking ability which probably explains why I am here," he chuckles before he gets up to face the camera.


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