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Curtains for KBC 3 - and quizmaster SRK gets top billing

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan signed off the first season of 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' with his characteristic flourish in a special two-and-a-half hour show with Bollywood stars Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor, Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif who took home Rs.1 crore.

The grand finale Thursday night was long, but had viewers hooked as Priyanka-Kareena came on first followed by Salman-Katrina, the first time the much talked about couple has opened up about their relationship.

The star of the evening was, however, the irrepressible Salman Khan who brought the house down with his antics.

When launched on Jan 22, the initial response to the show was lukewarm. Comparisons with the original host Amitabh Bachchan were inevitable. And everybody, from the media and the viewers to critics and fans, dissected the minutiae of each action, nuance and gesture that Shah Rukh made.

But soon the comparisons stopped and people started enjoying the show. From Monday to Thursday, it became a kind of stress buster, generating energy and fun thanks to its charming host. SRK managed to give the otherwise serious quiz show a makeover with his witticisms and warmth.

When the show completed two weeks, the television audience measuring body (TAM) report showed the show had had a decent start.

KBC 3 opened with TRPs of 12.33 on Monday, came down to 10.44 on the second day and dipped to 7.36 on day three. By Thursday, the TRP graph had moved up to 9.24.

Expectations hadn't been high to begin with because the introduction of CAS had affected the overall TRPs of almost all television programmes.

The first season of KBC had started with 20 plus ratings - and the entire blame was put on Shah Rukh.

But King Khan remained unnerved. He kept innovating - giving away watches, offering a thinking cap, warmly hugging contestants. It all worked in his favour. Those who had initially rebuffed the show started returning to it and the ratings picked up.

"Khan ka gyan" gradually took over from Bachchanisms. Flying kisses replaced warm handshakes, "kuchha kuchha-pucca-pucca" and "computerda/bhai/anna" became the new buzzwords.

The OMS-Hansa Research survey revealed that 69 percent people liked the way Shah Rukh conducted the show.

"My friends and I returned to the quiz show after being initially put off by Shah Rukh, whom we constantly compared with Amitabh," said Kunal Pandey, a Delhi-based executive.

He brought in celebrities like Arbaaz Khan, Malaika Arora, Karan Johar, Farah Khan, Farhan and Zoya Akhtar, Preity Zinta and Rani Mukerji, Sanjay Dutt and Boman Irani, adding glitter to the already glamorised show.

Later he presented some of the participants with cricket bats and just a few weeks back actually gave away nine cars to the nine participants of the 'fastest finger first' contest.

"It might sound a little material, that I keep giving away watches, cricket bats during the World Cup season, and whatever I can get hold of in terms of what is special to me. But I think the car idea is not very original. There is someone else who has done it before?

"Yes, Oprah Winfrey. She had given away cars to the audience. If I could afford it, I would actually give away Rs.20 million to everyone," Shah Rukh was quoted as saying in an interview.

Shah Rukh's only grudge was that nobody could win Rs.20 million (Rs 2 crores). In the last season too, which came to an abrupt end due to Amitabh's illness, none of the contestants were able to bag the big prize money.

Shah Rukh has promised to keep in touch with his fans through blogs and messages.

He said: "I'll be honest and say maybe not with the frequency I have been right now - but say once a month or so I'll definitely be on. Because once I move on from KBC I have to go and finish some of the work I'm doing just now on my film."

When Shah Rukh returns, he might not have to struggle to get the attention. People may start missing the daily dose of humour and fun.

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The day SRK cried!

The actor has very fond memories of KBC, which ends today (it’ll be back by the end of the year)

Tonight is the night when Shah Rukh Khan will appear on Kaun Banega Crorepati 3 for the last time (okay, we’re getting sort of dramatic here, but technically it’s true, no?)

While this season comes to an end today, despair not dearies, for SRK will be back before you know it later this year. Here, King Khan shares with us some of his memories from KBC 3.

How did you feel on the last day of the shoot (March 26)?

I felt very sad that it was ending. It was difficult bidding farewell to everyone. KBC 3 wasn’t just work but lots of enjoyment too. Almost 200 people were involved.

It was exciting meeting new people and waiting for something different to happen. In film shoots, we know the scenes; in KBC 3, there was something new happening every day — some good and some not so good.

On the last day, everyone got nostalgic. We had a wrap-up party that went on till 4.30 am. We all sat and chatted and I gave everyone little gifts. It was great.

Salman Khan never comes on TV. Did it take much convincing to bring him on KBC 3?

No. Salman knows that I won’t ask him or anybody else personal questions. Shilpa Shetty was to come on the show too. I wanted three couples, and Katrina was to come with Lara, but it didn’t work out.

It was only a last minute decision to have Salman and Katrina Kaif together. So I asked Salman if he and Kat would come together, and he consented. It was as simple as that.

All four of them — Salman, Kareena (Kapoor), Katrina and Priyanka (Chopra) — were very sweet. Salman knew most of the answers. In fact, he was constantly poking fun at the questions pretending like he didn’t know the answers.

How have your children reacted to KBC 3?

They love it. In fact, my son Aryan was very disturbed when he heard that it is ending. His teacher and friends love the show and he loves to show off how young and cool his father looks on KBC (laughs). He was only satisfied when I said I would be coming back.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from TV?

I’ve learnt to be more real, from people who are not as financially gifted as I am. Stars live in ivory towers and get disconnected from reality. So KBC helped me reconnected to reality and to simple and kind people.

I will be a better actor after this stint. I’ve discovered that people love to have a good laugh, so sharing my sense of humour with them made me feel happy.

Your most emotional moment on KBC 3?

There was this man who lost after the first five questions, but he was brilliant in the dummy run. He was not well versed with TV or films, else he would have been fantastic.

After he lost, his wife kept telling me that he is an intelligent man. Woh bahut achche hai (he’s very smart), she kept saying. I literally cried. I felt very sad because he indeed was very smart.

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Karan Arjun create history and OSO is red hot.

Karan Arjun create history on the small screen

The last episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati made the highest income in ad revenue for a single programme (outside cricket) on Indian television.It featured Salman Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Katrina Kaif with host Shahrukh Khan.

DDLJ continues to run and Om Shanti Om is red hot

King Khan has other reasons to celebrate as while the mother of jubilee films DDLJ completed its 600th week in Mumbai with collection of approx 30,000 his Om Shanti Om is red hot in distribution circles and the talk of the industry. A song was shot for seven days which featured nearly the whole industry with legends like Dharmendra and Mithun Chakraborty to today's superstars Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan participating along with Shahrukh Khan in the song. It is reported that 29 stars are in the song. This has created sky high expectations and the film may well break records when released in Nov/Dec 2007.

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