Mumbaikars experience 'Who Dares Wins' buzz

MUMBAI: AXN has unveiled its first local production effort in the country. The Who Dares Wins India Special kicked off in Mumbai Thursday and will travel to Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai shortly.

Addressing a media briefing, AXN Asia's VP marketing Gregory Ho said, "AXN is all about putting the thrill into peoples lives and we are also trying to build a lifestyle brand. Who Dares Wins has been on the channel since its inception in Asia in 1997, and India the following year. In fact, there was a point when people identified the channel with the show which is not surpring as the show represents the values that AXN stands for which are to have fun and be daring in whatever we do. The fact that over 600 Indians applied for the Guinness World Records challenges the notion that Indians are physically inert by nature. They do not like to go out too much.

In its pure form, reality television is a documentary. At the other extreme, you have a pornographic video and we are somewhere in between. What makes Who Dares Wins unique is the level of humour prevalent. We have chosen India as the country make our foray into local production because we see it as the rising star in terms of building the brand and revenue."

It was not all talk at the Mumbai launch, however. The host of the show, Mike Whitney chose a couple of press members to do a couple of street dares - simple to follow but difficult to actually perform. The first involved moving a glass on a tray around the body without dropping it. The second had a person going around ten times with a broomstick held over her head and then attempting to drop it in front of her before crossing over.

From Saturday to Monday, Whitney will travel the city challenging people to do things they are not sure of. One dare will involve Hero Honda cycles, says Whitney. He will visit Dilip Vengsarkar's cricket academy and have a person face fast bowlers. He will also approach shoppers at Crossroads, students at Dadar Catering College and dare them to do things like catching a grape in the mouth thrown from five metres. The dares will be showcased on the channel in November/ December 2002.

Whitney said, " I have been to India thrice in the past. On two occasions I was with the Australian cricket team. This visit is special as for the first time I will be able to interact directly with the public. Our aim is to take people out of their comfort zone and expose them to something they are not comfortable with. It could be standing in a room full of mice. The safety issue was foremost in our mind when we started seven years ago and that continues to be our philosophy.

"Nothing on the show is a death defying leap of faith. The conditions have been tried and tested sometimes a couple of weeks in advance to make sure that the dare is do able," he said.

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