In this exclusive five-part series, Bollywood’s biggest star shares previously untold stories and pays tribute to those who have influenced and inspired him the most. Presenting his own radio shows for the very first time, Shah Rukh Khan also picks music that matters to him the most and dedicates it to his heroes.
Taj Mohammed Khan, Monday 28 May, 7pm
In Part One of his Heroes, Shah Rukh Khan pays tribute to his father as the ‘most important hero of my life’.
Named as one of the youngest freedom fighters for India at the time, Taj Mohammed Khan, from Peshawar, played an integral part of Shah Rukh’s life, right up until he died of throat cancer when Shah Rukh was 15.
The Bollywood star credits his father as the reason for him becoming an actor, explaining how he drew similarities between Shah Rukh and his brother, labelling them both as ‘artists’. He also relays all the things his father taught, kindness, patience, humour and that ‘it is not special to be special, it is special to be ordinary.’
He talks of how he misses his father, ‘the stories can go on and on about my father, and I can spend a whole lifetime talking about my dad. And tell you how he has been such a major impression in my life… and I really do miss him.’ In addition, he reveals that his father is the figure that he looks up to the most – the person that he would most like to be like.
Dhyan Chand, Tuesday 29 May, 7pm
Dhyan Chand was an Indian field hockey player, considered as one of the greatest players of all time. Born in August 1905, he died aged 74 in 1979 and in this second programme, Shah Rukh Khan talks about why he has inspired his life. The actor reveals how he has learnt from Dhyan’s success, ‘success is not something that can be passed on. The greatest of people, the most successful of people perhaps will never be able to teach their children or their colleagues, to be as successful as they were.’
He also speaks about Dhyan opening his eyes to more than just the sport of hockey, ‘Mr Dhyan Chand made me realise how important it is to be sporty or be involved in some kind of activity which makes you win and lose, or gives you a feeling of a life that there is a level playing field for everything.’
Finally, Shah Rukh discusses how Dhyan’s inspiration branches wider than sport, explaining that, ‘just in case you can’t even achieve success in the field you wanted to, there are always going to be opportunities which will allow you do so later on. So don’t give up.’
Amitabh Bachchan, Wednesday 30 May, 7pm
The third programme in this series sees Shah Rukh Khan spotlighting one of Bollywood’s most popular icons, Amitabh Bachchan. Born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh on 11 October 1942, Amitabh has acted in hundreds of films during a career spanning more than four decades. He is now regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema.
Shah Rukh describes him as ‘a hero to millions and billions’ and that one of his personal greatest achievements was when he ‘was able to stand in the same frame (as Amitabh), breathe the same air and that I got to work with him.’
He explains how Amitabh had a remarkable influence on his life, how he feels privileged to know him. How the longevity of his career is outstanding, ‘he just goes on and on because he’s one of the few things which is completely against the idiom that good things don’t last, he is the good thing. There is no ending to this.’
Shah Rukh also highlights Amitabh’s professionalism and his sheer hard work, remembering the experiences he has had with him on set over the years. The fact that Amitabh is a perfectionist and always strives to be great.
‘He is one of the finest finest people, finest actors, and a great human being to have come into my life.’
The Heroines, Thursday 31 May, 7pm
In part four of Shah Rukh Khan’s Heroes, the actor credits the actresses who have acted alongside him throughout his career. He says he is lucky to have worked with three generations of leading ladies, labelling it as ‘a great learning experience’ and that the ’heroines have made me the star that I am.’
In a male dominated industry, he reveals that he thinks that the actresses deserve most credit and how he has been inspired by them throughout his career - from instilling more confidence in him as an actor to teaching him dancing techniques on set.
He reminisces about a time when he had to dress as a woman for a film, how difficult it was in the clothes, make-up, wigs, and false eyelashes – so difficult that he ended up in hospital for two days after filming!
He credits the actresses’ professionalism, hard work and humble nature and explains how he has built the greatest of relationships with many them.
The Ordinary Man, Friday 1 June, 7pm
In this final programme, Shah Rukh Khan dedicates his last Hero to the ‘ordinary man’ – ‘a man who is normal, like you and I.’
Revisiting his father’s view, that it is special to be down to earth, Shah Rukh talks about the hard work that he believes he has invested to cover up his lack of talent and how he has the same fear of failure as he did when he started working in the industry. He talks about his faith in God and religion and how he truly believes himself to be an ordinary man – doing things exactly like other normal men.
Telling a story about a ordinary man who lives in Mumbai, India, we hear a typical day in this man’s life; making his own food, standing on an overcrowded local train into the city to work, the need for him to come home and make his wife happy and mother comfortable and to not have that much money to spend on life’s luxuries. He says, ‘it’s not the cost of the shirt or jacket that you wear, it’s just how much you enjoy wearing it”, explaining that these ordinary men are heroes because they enjoy life in spite of the world’s issues.