Former MTV content head spearheads fun food show hosted by 3-year old

MUMBAI: This girl is confident. She is adorable. She is a chatter-box and speaks a dime-a-dozen. Even her mother takes a back seat when she opens her mouth.

Meet the home-grown Daria - the youngest host of a food show in India. All of three years - yes, you heard it right, she is only three years old – she is slated to hit YouTube on 20 July with her own show Time Out with Daria on multichannel network (MCN) Qyuki and producer-director Seher Bedi's joint online initiative Starrin. Starrin is focused on creating content for children and youth between six and 18 years.

Time Out with Daria features the toddler or should we say young girl – she is actually Pooja Bedi's niece - experimenting and rustling up breakfast and tea time meals based on grandma’s recipes along with her mother Tina.

It is the first series created and directed by Bedi, who has a decade of experience on television, mainly with MTV, first as a supervising producer between 1995-2001, then as head of creative and content in her second innings between 2010 and 2015. In between she dabbled in partnering an online portal streaming webisodes and targeted at the youth, even as she bootstrapped her production company Magicworks Inc Entertainment.

“The show is a celebration of the mother-daughter bond, sprinkled with chocolate mousse and mango smoothies and everything else in between the yummy spectrum. It is catering to a wide array of audience six years and over," says Bedi excitedly.

The trailers of Time Out with Daria show the bubbly Daria gurgling, giggling away, and cutely talking to her mum about food and other things. The production values appear to be very international, as well as the treatment.

But Seher insists that she and her team have worked on keeping Time Out with Daria as real as possible over its five to seven minutes duration.

“This is not a perfect cookery show where everything is delicious. Daria’s likes and dislikes both are equally shown in the series," she points out. “We could not direct a child, it was completely dependent on her mood. Some days she didn’t want to shoot and it took us three days to finish one episode but, we made sure, it was kept natural."

Bedi says she chose Daria because she was at ease with herself and her surroundings during shoots. “She is very social. Daria wanted to take over the whole shoot and take up everything her mom was doing," she points out.

The series was shot In Bangalore at Daria’s grandmother's place. Each episode cost about Rs 1-3 lakh, as the team had to give Daria enough room to perform. This cost has been shared equally between Bedi and Qyuki.

“Kids, food and DIY are the most popular pieces of content online," says Qyuki Network head Sagar Gokhale. “This will definitely add to what we offer to our audiences. The internet is starved of good wholesome entertainment that kids and parents can enjoy together and not only be entertained but also informed. We hope Time Out With Daria provides a great bonding source for parents and children the world over"

For food lovers, each episode will also have a beautifully designed photo postcard of the recipe that can be saved on one’s phone to try out later.

While no brands or brands have been brought on board for in-programme branding, the 24-episode series will be given a leg up by Qyuki when the first five episodes go live on 20 July. “We will filter and target the audience, push content on social media, and through Google ads," points out Sagar. He is confident of the food show building audiences, “because it is genuinely good content."

It’s over to the audience for their verdict.

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