Smriti Z Irani on CNN-IBN's 'Being's at 8 p.m. on 25 February

"I would love to be the Devil's Advocate and sit and corner Pranab Mukherjee" - Smriti Z Irani

New Delhi, February 24, 2006: Think television soaps in India and one of the first names that comes to mind is Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Launched on the same day as Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) in 2000, the show outlived KBC and was the center of attention for millions of viewers.

The epicenter of this familiar, familial melodrama, Smriti Irani hooked a generation of housewives to television. But there's more to Smriti Irani than being Tulsi. She balances a political career, a family and children, produces plays and manages a hectic acting schedule. From working at McDonald's, to getting rejected because she didn't look like the typical Indian housewife, everybody's favorite agony aunt tells us what it's like BEING Smriti Irani Only on CNN IBN, Saturday 25th February 20:30pm & Sunday 26th February 15:30pm.

Excerpts from the interview:

"I would genuinely trade my job any day to run behind and get breaking news through. I would love to be a part of your Lakshmi Narayan Mittal exclusive, I would love to be the Devil's Advocate and sit and corner Pranab Mukherjee, I almost thought that Karan had it that day. I would love to do what you did with the Bofor's case. Just be there, hunt, investigate, it almost sounds like a fantasy. It's the rush of discovering something that's hidden under so many layers"

"I was in an environment (in Delhi) where it was easy to accept rejection. I was constantly told that's its not my cup of tea .I realized it's the environment that's propelling me towards a different destiny. That's why I left. I have faced rejection from the day I stepped into Mumbai, from not winning the Ms India crown, to missing out so many auditions, to being rejected for an ad for home appliances because I didn't look like an Indian housewife. So many people told Ekta Kapoor she's out of her mind if she wanted to caste me .I mean rejection is not something new. I lost my first election. I would in fact take it as a sign of a new beginning because I'm in an environment where everybody that I know is not the type to give up easily.

'I have stepped out of the comfort zone. Its not an easy thing to do but the biggest burden of Being Tulsi is the constant criticism that comes along with my job. I have from day one been the poster child for all the flak for all saas-bahu soaps and its not easy trying to maintain ones sense of balance or politeness through it all and let the critics get away'.

"If you look at how soaps began post 'Kyunki saas bhi....', there were so many that came into being where the marketing strategy was "It's different from the 'saas- bahu' soaps". There were so many actors that came to the surface whose entire interview revolved around that one quote --" I don't do saas- bahu". But ironically most of them revolved and came about and started doing saas- bahu on their own because I think somewhere the realization came that it was not selling on the basis of that "we are different factor" .At the end of the day we are at of the entertainment business, channels have got caught in the revenue net. Today for a channel the viability of a project is much more important than the message I'm trying to give".

"I think he (Narendra Modi) has changed a lot of peoples opinion through his administrative work .I have spoken to him. He's extremely gracious and I'm in touch with him. He was extremely gracious in letting a lot of things go and extremely gracious as not to comment on what I said. I think that's one part that everyone has to accept. He never said a word about me. It says a lot about the man. He's willing to be prosecuted for any crimes that courts might decide against him that's says a lot about somebody who is sitting in a seat of power"

GBN, a TV18 Group Company, is a 74:26 joint venture between the TV18 Group and professionals - Rajdeep Sardesai, Sameer Manchanda and Haresh Chawla. GBN's charter is to launch channels in the general news space under the editorial leadership of Sardesai, one of India's most reputed TV journalists. The TV18 Group is India's leading and most successful business news broadcaster, in both English and Hindi.

- END -

For more information contact:

Prachi / Priyadarshani

Hanmer & Partners

New Delhi

011 2921 4793/ 4

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