Star's new karaoke show snaps up Sonu Nigam

Star Plus, the flagship channel of the Star group, seems determined to tap all genres in the slew of new programmes it is unleashing in 2002.

Commencing end February or early March, the channel will start a new music based show to be anchored by what once was Zee's hot property - Sonu Nigam. The young singer took the talent show Sa Re Ga Ma to the height of the popularity charts for nearly five years, charming viewers with both his youthful good looks and his obvious talent for the art and the medium. After Nigam quit the show, Aman and Ayaan Ali Bangash, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan's sons, took over Sa Re Ga Ma, but could not retain the ratings.

After a while in hibernation, Nigam has now been snapped by Star Plus to host a celebrity based karaoke show that takes off in less than two months. Apart from big names like Adnan Sami and Leslie Lewis who will be invited to sing on the show in each episode, the show will have audiences actively participating in singing along with Sonu and walking away with titles like Karaoke King and Karaoke Queen. This is expected to provide talented youngsters with the opportunity to meet with their favourite stars and exhibit their talent through the karaoke medium. The celebrities will compete in a 'boys-versus-girls' format by singing along to their favourite Hindi songs. Shooting is expected to begin by 26 January.

Sony had earlier tried a similar format, without the karaoke element, in Star Ya Kalakaar, which had veteran actor Farida Jalal in the host's seat. Star's Kya Masti Kya Dhoom, hosted by Sonali Bendre, has already climbed into INTAM's top 10 most popular programmes across all channels, a fact that has probably inspired Star to launch another music based show. Nigam who had, in an earlier media interview, said that the best thing about Sa Re Ga Ma was the opportunity to meet the music maestros and living legends of India up close, will now get a second chance to do so.

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