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Brain teasers with Brahmanandam

The undisputed king of comedy, Brahmanandam makes his television debut, writes PRABALIKA M. BORAH

Play with me Brahmanandam gets ready to quiz you

Telugu movie industry’s comedy king, Brahmanandam will now be seen on TV. He will be quizzing, entertaining and finally giving away a prize money of Rs. 10,00,000 to the participant who’ll make it to the end of the show. The programme called The Brahmi 10,00,000 Show will be on air on iNEWS from August.

First-of-its-kind show

“Around 80,000 text messages are pouring in everyday. This is surely going to be a first-of-its-kind show for a regional channel. When, Vasu Manthena, the Director of iNEWS, approached me with the concept I accepted it without a second thought. It is a good mix of personal and intellectual questions to win the cash prize,” explains Brahmanandam.

Dressed casually on a Sunday morning, the actor says, it’s only the second Sunday in a month that “I take rest.” I usually do not shave on a second Sunday, I had to shave today as I was to meet you,” he laughed.

Explaining more about the show, the actor says, “this programme is styled to reflect the anchor’s character, it’s light-hearted but fast-paced entertainer. The participants get instant cash of up to 10,00,000. Registered contestants will be filtered at three levels before they get to sit in the ‘hot’ seat to participate further in the show and win Rs. 10,00,000. There will be special episodes with celebrities to pep up the show on Saturdays and Sundays.

Considering his busy schedule, how did the man who works 9 to 6 everyday find time to shoot for a TV show? “I will work seven days non-stop for the shooting of the show for iNEWS. My schedule is absolutely packed for me to even think of stretching the dates,” he says.

When an actor enters the television industry it is assumed that it’s an end to his/her big screen career. “I don’t agree. Amitabh Bachchan made a comeback with KBC, Salman is getting popular with ‘Dus ka… This is a prestigious project and I want to be the first in the industry,” he says. So how does the actor spend his leisure time on Sunday? “As youngsters say, ‘I chill.’ I just take everything easy. But I am very particular about the time I wake up. My day begins at 7 am,” he says. And a fitness regime? “No, I am fit and ready for everything. I have a pot-belly, even he has it (pointing to Shravan who manages the actor’s schedule). The moment I talk about Shravan’s pot-belly he gets up and starts strolling,” he laughs.

“On a non-working Sunday, I walk…from the dining table of my house to my bedroom,” he guffaws.

The actor’s humour, most of the time has been the USP for several Telugu movies. How does he deal with that image off screen? “I have acted in 836 movies. In real life, I do know where to draw the line,” says the actor.

A devout follower of Lord Balaji, the actor says, “If He wants everything will happen. It is because of His blessings I am able to bring cheer and make people smile,” says the actor. The actor’s Jubilee Hills house has close to 38 images of the Lord in different rooms, “I need to see Him first when I enter a room.”

Currently Brahmanandam is finishing the shoot for several movies “around 12-13 movies are in the pipeline. Josh and Anjaneyulu will release soon. In Josh I am acting with Chaitanya, Nagarjuna’s son and Anjaneyulu is with Ravi Teja.”

Considering the fact that he acted with the three generations of the Akkineni family how has the experience been? “Whether it is ANR, Nagarjuna or Chaitanya, I always looked at them as colleagues and didn’t try to draw comparison between any of them and that balances the equations between actors.” He quickly adds, “Whoever I act with, I will try to keep up to the expectations of my fans.”

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