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Ex-Viacom18 COO Raj Nayak launches online chat show 'Fridays with Raj Nayak'

The hour-long show will be live-streamed at 5 pm.

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MUMBAI: From off-screen to on-screen – that’s how former Viacom18 COO Raj Nayak envisions his future. The man behind the popularity of one of TV’s top reality shows, Bigg Boss, is now stepping into the shoes of a host with his new chat show: Fridays with Raj Nayak.

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The hour-long live show will see Nayak speaking to people from a wide range of backgrounds including, but not restricted to, Bollywood, politics, sports, media, etc. The only criterion is that the person has to be interesting or eclectic in his/her field. It will be streamed live on YouTube and Facebook for the first episode on 24 April while viewers can catch Nayak getting up close and personal with his guests on multiple platforms simultaneously in the upcoming episodes.

“I anyway had the intention of doing a show someday. On my show, I will converse and address aspects of people that aren’t known which is beyond just their professional lives,” Nayak says to Indiantelevision.com.

His plan is to get 52 guests for a full year edition.

This show is akin to testing the waters. Eventually, his aim is to try to get a show of his own on TV. “If I feel I am capable to do that and if there is an opportunity and good feedback then I think my relationship with the broadcast industry may help me achieve my aim,” he says.

Although the launch timing coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown, Nayak doesn’t want to harp on that but rather make it more positive. While the initial timing of the show is from 5 pm to 6 pm every Friday, that may change depending on factors such as traffic, guest availability and audience research.

Nayak’s challenge is to research about his guests on an almost stalker-ish level. “I don’t just want to know about their work. I want to know about things like does my guest have a dog and what’s the name of her dog. I want to know the person’s views on politics and many other things. That is the level of research that will go into my shows,” he says.

Right now, it’s a one-man-army show with Nayak handling all aspects including advertising, marketing, media, guest selection, etc. However, the show is produced by House of Cheer, the media and entertainment company he launched late last year.

Until lockdown persists, the show will be conducted virtually via Zoom app. A makeshift set in a corner of his home is ready for the live stream. The first episode will feature transformational life coach (PCC) and energy psychology practitioner Jill Majeski. Nayak says he is in the process of identifying other guests for future episodes.

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