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Abhay Deol is currently hosting the prime time show Connected Hum Tum on Zee TV and had said that he had all these days never looked at TV but was now eager to play the host but his presence on the show has not shown much difference when it comes to ratings. After hosting shows like Khelo Jeeto Jiyo on Star Plus and What Not to Wear on TLC, the thinking actor Soha Ali Khan was quite excited to return to the small screen as a host for the children's special show Spell Bee – India Spells season five on Discovery Network.
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Proclaimed to be the next big thing after KBC was one more game show which had a big name as a host. So after Bade Miyan (Amitabh Bachchan) came with KBC in 2000 it was time for Chhote Miyan (Govinda Ahuja) to come on TV with Jeeto Chhapar Phaad ke on Sony TV in 2001.
At the same time the beautiful actress Manisha Koirala came in the show Sawaal Dus Crore Ka (2000) on Zee TV with co-host Anupam Kher, another well-known character actor from Bollywood. While Jeeto Chhapar Phaad Ke was a big hit, Sawaal Dus Crore Ka was a disaster and after Anupam Kher's sudden exit from the show it was left to another film actor Ashutosh Rana to take over the reins. However it didn't help and after much controversy the show was discontinued mid-way. Anupam Kher however later went on to becoming a much loved host amongst kids for his show Say Na Something to Anupam Uncle (2001) on Sab TV. A show meant only for kids, it had kids and sometimes the parents too coming in as guests and the kids enjoyed being their own self on the show even as Anupam uncle listened and advised them.
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Preity Zinta got into Television hosting with the show Guiness Book of World Records - Ab India Todega in 2011 which was followed by a celebrity chat show Up, Close and Personal with Preity Zinta produced by Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment. The pretty and bubbly actress was full of enthusiasm in both the shows, but however she returned back to her original love – films.
Following his father's footsteps was Abhishek Bachchan who hosted the game show National Bingo Night on Colors in 2010. While he kept up the tempo of the interactive game show, Abhishek never ventured into TV again. The heartthrob of Television, Rajeev Khandelwal took his filmy debut flight in Aamir in 2008 but was back to TV to host Deal Ya No Deal, Sach ka Saamna and the latest being Sach ka Saamna Phir se Hoga in 2012.
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A similar but witty format was Karan Johar's Koffee with Karan on Star which was launched in 2004 and was popular amongst the young audience. After four years and many re-runs later on Star World, the show returned on screen in 2010 for a third season which ended in 2011. Karan would have Bollywood actors as his guests and they would be quizzed about their personal life followed by a fun contest to win the coffee hamper. A classy version of the same was the graceful Simi Garewal's Rendevous with Simi Garewal. Wearing her signature white clothes and silken hair Simi was a picture of perfect poise on a polished set. The show saw many a Bollywood celeb letting their guard down as they got emotional talking about personal lives and family.
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The leggy lass, Sonali Bendre who has now made a mark as a glamorous judge for various shows first came as a host on Kya Masti Kya Dhoom (2001) on Star Plus, a show to find talent amongst kids and youngsters in the age category of 8 to 18 years.
Small timers Ashmit Patel and Ayesha Takia too took to hosting TV shows when there was not much left for them in films. While Ashmit was a host for Bindass Superstud (2010) followed by Superdude (2012) on UTV Bindass, the buxom Ayesha was seen hosting the singing reality show Sur Kshetra in 2012 which saw a battle of singing talents from India and Pakistan on Sahara One.
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With so many big and small film personalities making their mark on Television it is still a wonder as to why it is still referred to as the small screen. As far as we know none of these film stars have ever thought as much!
Seema Khot Mattoo