Did you just see something? No? But surely heard that popular voice you have heard so many times that you just cannot miss! There you go. Bollywood biggies have now started sprinkling their stardom inside the FM studio with by their very own voice as a love guru, hands-on parents, or even tackling various life issues. When in doubt, these celebs are at your service.
Radio in Bollywood are not a peculiar sight if one were to remember Salaam Namaste (2005), based on two Indians living in Melbourne where Ambar portrayed by Preity Zinta, a medical student, supports her education by working as a regular morning show host at the radio station “Salaam Namaste”. And who could forget the “Good morrrniiing, Mumbai!” from Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006) with Vidya Balan as radio jockey RJ Jahnvi. Vidya Balan then goes on to play RJ Sulu, a host of a late night relationship advice show in Tumhari Sulu (2017).
But as the saying in Hindi goes, “Phate poster, nikle hero” same could be said about B-Town biggies who played reeltime RJs are now realtime RJs as well. Karan Johar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Neha Dupia and Vidya Balan, and a few may soon join in.
Are these purely celeb shows or is there a hidden motive to walk an extra mile in the long run?
Commenting on Bollywood celebs turning RJs, Indian ad guru Prahlad Kakkar says, “I think everybody has understood that radio has a huge reach. There are a lot of people who can’t afford television still, yet can afford a radio and listen to music, news and shows. The industry has realised the importance of radio as an important tool to communicate.”
Karan Johar also known as KJo is regarded as the king of talk shows where he and his guest celebrities go candid over a cup of coffee, has a radio show which would transform him from a talk show host to a love guru. His show Calling Karan which airs on Ishq 104.8 FM provides a platform to express problems pertaining to love and relationship. KJo draws experience from his own life and gives straight-up, crisp and to the point advice.
The show also has a reverse rapid fire round, where the listeners also get to ask KJo whatever they feel like in regards to relationships, break ups etc. The show has wrapped up its second season and the fans hope there is a third one down the line.
In 2016, Lust Story star, Neha Dhupia started hosting a radio show on Indian Music App ‘Saavn’. It is a Bollywood podcast called #NoFilterNeha. This is the show where she chats with her friends and digs out stories that has never been heard before. The show was a hit and received great reviews, with over 2.3 million listeners. In October 2018, she returned with #NoFilterNeha season 3.
The other prominent B Town celebrity who is also in the radio biz is none other than Kareena Kapoor Khan, who on the same network has a show titled, What Women Want, which features conversations with celebrities and women to break barriers and pre-conceived notions associated with women. Kareena, respondeding to the question as to why she wanted to do this show, says, “There is very little importance given to what women actually want even today, and I am glad to have got an opportunity to be a part of a radio show which aims to talk about it and promote the same.” In its short course, the show has gained immense popularity as it deals with a wide range of topics from women handling divorces to tips for motherhood.
Vidya Balan is also getting ready to host her own chat show on radio channel Big FM 92.7 from March called Dhun Badal Ke Toh Dekho with Vidya Balan. The show is planning to feature conversation with celebrities and challenges pre-conceived notions and stereotypes usually associated with women. It is believed, Vidya will also share some of her experiences with the invitees.
An excited Vidya Balan says, “After having played several interesting characters in my film career including being an RJ twice, I am really looking forward to being a radio jockey in real life and directly connecting with people through this medium. The show’s meaningful concept Dhun Badal Ke Toh Dekho is bound to create positive conversations around current social developments and changes. I am glad to have this opportunity to encourage a positive mindset by reaching out to millions through 92.7 BIG FM.”
The film industry has surely leveraged the importance of this faceless medium to reach out to millenials. Radio reaches almost 90 per cent of the population of this country. Regarded as the passive mode of communication as one does not have to pay close attention, one can enjoy a programme while indulging in daily task, be it on road in the field or at home. “People in rural areas do go to movies. If Bollywood celebs are able to gather fan following through this medium, they can become desirable stars. What happens when you are a star, you announce a film as it releases and you instantly get a very good fan initials. To gain such fan following in rural areas, the medium is radio and not television.” Kakkar explains.