the sets of JCPK with Govinda & Crorepati Narendra Verma
ga-ga over Govinda and JCPK
Johnny-come-lately of game shows is Jeeto Chappar Phaad
Ke (JCPK) and it is already making quite an impact. Sony
Entertainment Television's gamble with this venture seems
to be paying off. That the reason for this is in large measure
due to the sheer exuberance of its host is the message that
the indiantelevision.com duo of Harsha Khot and Harish
Patil got when they attended a JCPK shoot recently.
Everyone on the programme, right from participants to the
production team, appeared to be having a ball. And long after
pack-up was called, Govinda was still on the floor boogeying
away at the studios in Film City in the western Mumbai suburb
of Goregaon. The participants were only too eager to join
him in shaking a leg.
Launched on 26 January, JCPK's approach has been slightly
different right from the beginning. Using the Chote Miyan
(Govinda) and exploiting his potential as an entertainer has
paid off and how.
Most participants are happy enough just to be with Govinda
and the prizes come as icing on the cake. Sometimes that icing
can really blow you away. Ask television's biggest ever prize
money winner Narendra Verma and he is euphoric to say the
"The prize aside, for which no doubt I am happy, what thrilled
me the most was being with Govinda," says Narendra, an assistant
engineer with the Delhi Jal Board, who won Rs 10 million (Rs
one crore) along with a Santro car, a Videocon window AC and
a Compaq computer recently.
The production unit is enjoying the ride just as much. "The
only problem that I face is asking my team in the editing
room to stop laughing and get serious for a change," says
Ajay Kapoor, on-line director of JCPK about his staff getting
carried away with Govinda's antics.
prize aside, for which no doubt I am happy, what thrilled
me the most was being with Govinda."
Narendra Verma with the entertainer par excellence.
But no doubt there is a cost attached to this superstar.
He has his moods and a reputation as a chronic latecomer.
Lo and behold. Even that seems to have changed. It's almost
too good to be true. "He has been surprising us by coming
to the sets on time and once in a while before time," quips
Rekha Nigam, senior vice-president, programming and production,
Sony Entertainment Television India. "Sometime I do the mistake
of coming early on the set," prompts Govinda, who reached
15 minutes early for today's shoot, quite surprising for someone
who has the unfortunate reputation of holding up rehearsals
and shoots by two to three hours as a matter of course.
An interesting aspect of Govinda's personality it seems is
that he feels self conscious talking while a senior citizen
is participating which affects his off the top delivery flow.
"We have been telling him not to get conscious since the older
participants say they love the way Govinda entertains. But
it is the respect towards elders that he gives," says Nigam.
"I have grown up with tehseeb attitude to respect elders,
and it comes naturally that at any point in my gimmickry,
unknowingly I shouldn't hurt their feelings by disrespecting
them in anyway," explains Govinda.
Another aspect around which there has been some talk is
the question selection on the show. Derek O'Brien, the well
known quizmaster who is handling that aspect, was grilled
over the rather dumbed down nature of the questions on the
Were they selected keeping Govinda in mind was the question?
Yes and no was O'Brien's riposte.
"The initial few question are geared around Govinda where
he would get to do his impromptu stuff, but no the content
of the questionnaire is not mentored around Govinda. Instead
it is geared keeping the audience in mind," O'Brien states.
"Questions do not revolve around only one subject but cover
a lot of fact-based topics: sports, cinema, current affairs,
mythology, etc, O'Brien says.
"The show where Verma wins the prize will be telecast on Friday,
2 March," informs O'Brien as an aside.
Another touchy topic is the controversy of Royal Entertainment
accusing Sony of "stealing the concept" of the show. In early
December, Sunil Mehra, proprietor of Royal Entertainment had
gone to the press how the idea of developing a game show around
Govinda had been their's. "I have never met them, nor have
I heard about their concept. My interaction has always been
directly with the Sony management and as far as I am concerned,
right from the idea, concept, everything was original from
the beginning. In fact these accusations baffle me equally
as much you," replies an indignant Nigam.