Television

Time of the yore, once more

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MUMBAI: She must have raised many eyebrows for her provocative choices. But nobody could match Madonna’s style at her vixen-esque best. She inspired almost all the young girls in the eighties and most of the guys were awestruck by her sheer screen presence. Now, the viewers have a chance to know all about Madonna and a lot more about the 80s with a new show on NGC.

Retro never really goes out of fashion, and when one looks back on this era through the yellow window, amazing content is assured, says John Abraham

Since the era has had its own glory with neon pop colours, Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ punching Argentina to footballing glory, the launch of the first personal computer, the rise of Bollywood’s very own “Disco Dancer” and Jennifer Beal’s “Flash” dance, the channel gives an opportunity to explore that.

“National Geographic Channel provides factual entertainment that strives to give people something new and fascinating. The 80s is, at the very least - fascinating and quite trend setting. Trends that are still impacting our lives – in terms of fashion, gadgets, sports, music, etc. This not just makes for rich and interesting content, it is extremely refreshing for the whole genre as well,” says National Geographic and FOX International Channels, VP, marketing, Debarpita Banerjee.

However, since the show would feature multiple domains - from fashion, gadgets and sports to media and politics, the channel has done a great deal of legwork. To recreate the entire decade across various arenas wasn’t easy. “Legitimacy and accuracy had to be ensured, since every story is told through a string of first-hand interviews and accounts,” remarks Bannerjee, further adding that the 80s icons and newsmakers like high-tech titan Steve Wozniak, media mogul Ted Turner, renowned director Oliver Stone as well as Jane Fonda, Calvin Klein, Michael J Fox, Joan Collins, David Hasselhoff and Bruce Weber have been brought on board to share their insights about the decade. “While on the Indian front, Piyush Pandey, Mahesh Bhatt, Vinod Dua, Mark Tully and Subhash Ghai are a few of the big-wigs that have been roped in,” she adds.

“Retro” always interests people and that is what has got the channel interested in the concept. “Plus, this was the decade that witnessed the emergence of legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, rise of Rajiv Gandhi and the era that gave Madonna, in all her avatars, a manic fan-base and when the world was privy to a modern day fairytale – the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana,” says Banerjee.

The 80s, according to the channel, has the best of ‘infotainment’ to offer to the discerning viewer, in way of fashion, technology, sports and some of the biggest moments in history. “So, while the decade may not be top of mind now, and may have acquired some dust, there is definitely a lot of sheen beneath it. We are quite confident that it will make a great watch,” she adds.

To promote the series well, it is being supported by an extensive online campaign which has been activated on social media and across websites. The channel is hosting a #Flashback80s week from 21 till 25 October on the Nat Geo Facebook page for the three million plus fans. “The week will also see an ‘80s Music Quiz’ contest hosted on Twitter, Facebook users can hashtag #Flashback80s and tell us any three things that made the 1980s a memorable decade for them, whether fun or emotional or plain nostalgic. Also, we will be sharing videos, pictures, faux pas, gadgets, sporting events from the decade for people to relive a slice of the 80s,” says Bannerjee.

Besides, actor John Abraham, the face of the channel, has also been going gung-ho about the concept. “The cherry on the cake would definitely be the show’s overriding theme! ‘Retro’ never really goes out of fashion, and when one looks back on this era through the yellow window, amazing content is assured. It was the decade that throbbed to the sounds of the Boombox, witnessed the death of Indira Gandhi and rise of Rajiv Gandhi and also the decade that saw the world holding its breath as the Chernobyl nuclear reactor went up in flames. I have no doubt that the show would appeal to people across all age-groups and is just as relevant today, as it ever was.”

The show will air on Thursday and Friday at 10 pm every week.

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