Udayavni Special

How Amitabh Bachchan is shooting ‘KBC’ amid COVID-19?


Team Udayavani, Sep 28, 2020, 3:25 PM IST

Mumbai: The coronavirus pandemic has thwarted many projects, but megastar Amitabh Bachchan and the team of the show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ (KBC) knew they would make it happen: with double the precautions and spirit.

Shortly after recovering from COVID-19, Bachchan, 77, started filming the 12th season of the popular game show in August.

To adapt to the social distancing norms, the ‘KBC’ set and the show’s format underwent an overall change.

According to showrunner Sujata Sanghamitra, for the first time in 20 years, the show is hosting no live audience and hence, the lifeline ‘audience poll’ has been replaced by video-a-friend to align with how ‘the country is looking at each other through screens now’.

“The set designing changed as we have only eight fastest finger first contestants, reduced from the usual 10 so that social distancing is maintained. We have companions of the contestants, but they are also seated far apart. The design of the hot seat and the contestant’s chair have also changed, there’s more gap now,” Sanghamitra told PTI.

One of the highlights of the show has been the camaraderie between Bachchan and the contestants, who often ask for a hug or a handshake from the screen icon.

Even though the shooting guidelines demand minimal physical contact, the team has come up with an alternative for not letting social distancing norms affect the content.

“The contestants won’t be able to hug him, but Bachchan sir will be doing an ‘elbow hi’. The conversations remain the same. Physical distance hasn’t disturbed the content,” the showrunner said.

The ‘KBC’ set in the Film City here now has a bigger control room with partitions in between. The cafeteria too has a glass partition on every table and the team ensures that at no point is any place crowded.

Bachchan’s teleprompter room, where he reads the script, has a glass wall, with the actor on one side and the scriptwriter on the other.

Prior to the pandemic, the set would have two entry-exit points, which have now been increased to four-five.

There is a separate entry and exit point for Bachchan and the contestants. Even the crew steers clear of these areas.

“There are sanitisation tunnels, doctors who check temperatures and oxygen levels, and a database of everyone on the set is maintained. A heavy load of sanitisation happens at least four-five times a day. A team sanitises the set during every break. We even have a set monitor to keep a check on how people are wearing the masks,” Arunshesh Kumar, “KBC” technical director, told PTI.

‘KBC’ is set to air from Monday on Sony TV.

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