Mumbai — “Get ready to board Bigg Boss Airlines #BB8, a flight with no flight-plan!” goes the press release.
Yes, the latest season of the ever-popular Aap Ka Colors show “Bigg Boss Season 8” — an unscripted reality show inspired by the international format, was launched at the unique location of the Jet Airways hangar Sept. 12 with an aircraft forming the backdrop, from which dancers exited down and flagged off the occasion with a medley of Salman Khan hits, as Khan himself, in a pilot’s uniform, stepped out and joined them.
After the songfest, he went into banter mode with some selected members of the media, offering them contests, prizes and of course, smart-aleck remarks.
Endemol India Pvt. Ltd., as always, is presenting the show and for the first time, an ecommerce site, Snapdeal.com, one of India’s leading online marketplaces, is onboard too. The show will launch Sep. 21 and will be a 100-day, nonstop marathon with the actor once again as the host (he began four seasons ago), after much speculation on the part of the media and much more introspection from his own side. “I thought I had barely any work now, so why not?” he quipped.
Commenting on the launch, CEO Raj Nayak said, “‘Bigg Boss’ has grown to become much more than a show. It is now a television phenomenon. With the continued success of the show season after season, we are now looking forward to surpassing audience expectations with an airy-edgy theme.
“As the show prepares to leave the runway, we hope to transmit incredible entertainment for our viewers straight from up there! It’s time for audiences to fasten their seatbelts and get ready for a ride of a lifetime through calm and turbulent weather conditions.”
Said Khan in a press release, “Like always, we’ll have an incredible range of travelers onboard this time. As we fly high, I can only advise the passengers to stay calm and collected as patience, tolerance, tact and trust are the only tools that will control the turbulence.
“As a captain, I’ll keep a check on the passenger’s safety and well-being week on week to ensure that their journey is smooth yet not so smooth in this whirlwind voyage!”
Kunal Bahl, co-founder and CEO of Snapdeal.com, added, “The partnership was a strategic decision to reach out to a larger target audience. This is a show followed across the country and we wanted to be associated with a name that has a high consumer recall.”
Khan’s humor level (alongside host and ex-contestant Andy Johnson) flip-flopped from juvenile to whacky to mad during the proceedings on the dais, with hundreds of Jet Airways employees watching live from the open staircases at the venue.
In an innovative move, food was served in the kind of containers that are provided in-flight, and Khan was whisked away to a nearby five-star hotel for interviews. But on the dais, the actor was in top form and good-humoredly answered a query on his marriage, on the now-ubiquitous issue of photographers boycotting him, and even on Shah Rukh Khan’s “Happy New Year” being promoted on the show. “Of course, we will do it if approached,” he said.