Jyothi Venkatesh has an informal chat with the host Shardul Pandit.
Tell us about Sirf Ek Minute, your new show on Flipkart Video?
Sirf Ek Minute according to me is the digital version of the biggest game show that we’ll ever see, I call it the KBC of the digital platforms because in 60 seconds without any nonsense, without wasting your time, without any drama, this show will give you a chance to win amazing prizes. All you have to do is answer six general knowledge questions from all walks of life: it could be Bollywood, it could be science, politics or general knowledge, and you can win some amazing prizes by answering them. You actually get 10 seconds to answer a question and there are a total of 6 questions. This is amazing because we belong to a generation where attention span, doesn’t last more than five seconds.
What do you think about this interactive rapid fire quiz show concept and the kind of content that Flipkart Video puts out through its array of game shows?
Well, I think if I knew someone at Flipkart Video earlier, I would have given them a call and would’ve asked them to collaborate on such a project. I’ve been loving the short format content on Flipkart Video and believe that it’s a great platform to connect with people. Flipkart as an app has a user base of 300 million people, which is a huge audience for any influencer or artist to reach out to. I’m very excited that I’m coming on their platform with a brand-new game show, because, you know, in my experience on radio or hosting other shows on television, I realized that people love engaging content.
When they have a chance to talk to the host or even answer questions, that’s when a show does well. Even if you look at Ellen DeGeneres, she’s always giving away things to people and that format works brilliantly. More so with the ongoing lockdown where people are stuck at home, they’re still not going outand are hence bored of the same thing so I think this will be a fantastic format to grab attention in a minute. Plus, along with entertainment you can win some great prizes too.
How was an experience of hosting an interactive show for the first time? Was there a particular approach that you had to follow for it?
This is a new experience for me because, when one shoots for a reality show, or hosts a show, there is a lot of dialogue. The format here on the other hand is quick, you have only a few minutes, so you have to be very effective. I was extremely happy about this because I have always worked without teleprompters,and this hence fit perfectly into my space because I know how tosay what I want to say in less amount of time and still have an impact because that’s exactly what people do on radio as well. We come in, we give you information, we entertain you, we tell you about the song, we tell you about the weather, we cover everything quickly and we get out.
So, for me this was very interesting because it was actually like hosting the radio show but with lights, camera, crew and a costume too. So yes, I really love the format because since a long time I’ve been observing that content formats are getting shorter and shorter. Hence, I think Flipkart video is very smart to understand this and create shows, which are not long in duration and hence prevent audiences from being bored. Plus, you’re giving them prizes to answer questions and it’s a no nonsense show which is what makes it amazing.
Tell us a little about your experience shooting for the show during a pandemic with regards to the safety and the precautions etc. taken?
I am thankful for the Flipkart Video team for easing this journey for me. Everyone had gotten their RT PCR tests done, including the director to the staff to myself. We transformed my house into the set of the show to ensure limited contact with the outside world. While general sanitization is followed at regular intervals, it is just 3-4 people shooting at home with me and so we are maintaining our distance with loads of people
How does it feel to make a jump from being a reality TV contestant to being the host of your own show on Flipkart Video?
This is exactly what I or any other performer, has to do these days. It is about the digital boom, it is about content platforms. The transformation to the digital world has seen people so much bigger than me move to digital platforms. If the biggest stars of movie industries across the world are making the jump to these newer platforms it goes to show the kind of reach and potential the digital world has. It feels ecstatic to be on a platform such as Flipkart Video where their audiences are spread across the country.
I really don’t see me getting that kind of reach anywhere else! If I do a fiction show, it would be limited to a certain set of the audience or a particular market but here? There are no boundaries. I have the opportunity to stream on phones across the country. I love this format, love the concept and hope to be a part of more shows with Flipkart Video soon.
Tell us about your experience being a contestant on the previous reality shows?
What I take from it is that you do all these reality shows, but you should never let it get to you. People take reality TV very seriously and slot the cast in certain segments based on onscreen behaviour, the reality may be the opposite though! There are some people who I have met in the Big Boss house that are extremely nice, but it is not a side you will see on screen. People embody those characters for entertainment. I don’t think I was made for that kind of content, I am an entertainer, right from my entry on stage to my exit. Which is why Sirf Ek Minute is the perfect opportunity for me to be who I am. So, I’m hoping that this a great step forward for me and that the sky is the limit from here on out.
What are the current assignments that you’re working on?
The first is of course Sirf Ek Minute with Flipkart Video. I am also hosting my radio show Shana Shardul which is named after me. There is also a fiction show, but I can’t reveal a lot about that at this stage. While I was working toward it, the pandemic led to a few delays. The situation is still not safe enough to be creating a show with a large cast and a number of people on set. That is also the beauty of SirfEk Minute with Flipkart Video! Since I am the only anchor, the risk of meeting more people is immediately cut down and that makes me feel safer.
I have also gone back to lending my voice to films, there is an anime film that I will be a part off. So yes, currently this is what I’m working on. I want to be an all-rounder! . I want to be the voice of films, I want to be the host of shows, I want to be a radio host and also want to act. People think that doing a lot can get overwhelming, but one has to understand that entertainment is evolving, and you have to evolve it too or else you may lose relevance.
What are your favorite film actors or actresses, and any director that’s on your wish list?
My favourite actor has to be Ranbir Kapoor, he is the one actor that can move emotions in me. I am also a huge fan of Madhuri Dixit! I had a chance to work with her for a web show but the dates clashed with Big Boss and I had to decide what I wanted to do. I really do hope I get another chance to work with her soon! I also like to add Salman Khan sir to this list. I would love a chance to work with him as well.