South Asia

Bachchan to return as host of India Millionaire show

Amitabh Bachchan
Image caption Bachchan is India's best known actor

Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan is back as the celebrity host of Kaun Banega Crorepati, the Indian version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.

Kaun Banega Crorepati was launched in 2000 and became one of the most watched shows on Indian television, typically attracting 15 million viewers.

The actor hosted the first season, but the second season was scrapped midway in 2006 after he fell ill.

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan replaced him in the third season.

Bachchan has acted in more than 180 Indian films, over a 40-year period. He remains Indian's most popular actor.

'Great honour'

"I'm here to confirm that I am indeed going to be doing Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC)," Bachchan told a packed press conference in Mumbai on Wednesday.

"It's a great honour, great pleasure," he said.

"Kaun Banega Crorepati is a good television habit. It brings the whole family together and knowledge is shared in the most interesting and entertaining way."

The show is likely to go on air by the end of this year or early next year, said Ajit Thakur, marketing head of Sony which is producing the show.

With Bachchan as anchor, the show became one of India's most watched TV programmes as soon as it was launched.

Its popularity was due in part to Mr Bachchan, who enjoys mass appeal in India.

He was voted the greatest star of the millennium in a 1999 BBC poll.

Bachchan continues to act in several films every year and was last seen in Teen Patti (Three Cards) in January, where he starred alongside British veteran Ben Kingsley.

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