Star introduces Junior KBC and a winning couple

The Star India team, along with Kaun Banega Crorepati anchor Amitabh Bachchan and producer Siddharth Basu, yesterday presented to the media Vijay Raul and wife Arundhati, the first Crorepatipatni winners of the jackpot prize Rs 10 million. Star broke the news while providing details of KBC Junior, which premiers on Sunday, 6 May at 10 am.

Coincidentally or otherwise, the episode featuring the two winners will be telecast the very next day, 7 May at 9 PM on Star Plus.

The first winners of the 'Crorepatipatni' format of KBC where husband and wife contest as partners on the gameshow hail from Rourkela in the eastern state of Orissa. While Raul is a chief assistant engineer at GAIL in Rourkela, Arundhati is a homemaker.

"They were a most unassuming couple, and I least expected them to win," Bachchan said. "In fact I was under the impression that they probably wouldn't get past Rs 10,000. But they certainly took me by surprise once they were on the hotseat," he said.

KBC Junior is organised around young participants between the ages of 10 to 18. "My heart was palpitating, I am still weak-kneed after having shot two episodes continuously," said Bachchan in a light vein while expressing how he felt hours after the shoot of two episodes with a bunch of enthusiastic and precocious children.

To arrest the fall in KBC's popularity, Star, as part of a strategic move, shifted the Thursday show of KBC to Sunday placing it at an apt spot when other competing channels air mythological programmes. The programme has received a good response from the advertisers, said Sameer Nair, executive vice president programming Star Plus. While Compaq is giving away a personal computer to any child who makes it to the hotseat, irrespective of whether he is a winner or not, the channel has promised gifts to the 10 final participants. The channel is optimistic about getting a positive response for the programmes and are expecting a two digit TRP rating for the show, said Nair.

According to Basu KBC Junior has received an overwhelming response, with over 600,000 phone calls in the three days lines were open.

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