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Saumya Tandon: I am appalled at the dearth of women hosts in our industry

The Indian Express logo The Indian Express 20-04-2018 sana farzeen
a person posing for the camera © Provided by Screen a person taking a selfie: Saumya Tandon © Provided by Screen Saumya Tandon

Comedy series Entertainment Ki Raat is back with a new season and cast. Popular star Saumya Tandon, better known as Anita from Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain, will be seen as the host of this 12-episode series. Saumya is getting back to hosting after years, having successfully done shows like Dance India Dance, Bournvita Quiz Contest, Mallika-E-Kitchen and Zor Ka Jhatka: Total Wipeout with Shah Rukh Khan. In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Saumya shared that she is really excited about this new stint.

While this new show has only added more to her platter, Saumya is happy to salivate her hunger as an actor. “It’s quite taxing to manage two shows. I am practically pushing myself and it only proves my hunger as a performer. I was yearning to be back as an anchor and that’s what brought me here. It’s a challenging job as in a way I would be leading the entire show, and since I have never done something like this before, I was really looking forward to it,” the actor shared in an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com.

When it comes to female hosts, apart from Saumya Tandon, Mandira Bedi and Mini Mathur, there’s none who managed to make a mark. Talking about the same, she quipped, “I feel appalled. Today, people expect men to do buffoonery as a host. They do not understand that a glamorous woman can also be articulate, serious, emotional and fun while presenting a show. It’s really sad that they don’t use female anchors and I want to break that stereotype.”

Watch Entertainment Ki Raat host Saumya Tandon's video here:

As the conversation steered towards Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain, Saumya shared, “Doing a daily comedy show is not easy and we can’t hit a six all the time. Personally, I would have preferred season as it gives ample time for pre-production and helps your content get better. Shooting daily curbs the quality, and even when you want to give the best, it’s not possible. Television is a mediocre medium anyway and I really think it needs a revolution soon.”

When asked about the digital medium, Saumya Tandon quipped, “I think it’s very confusing and people are still trying to explore what will strike a chord with the audience. I really think most shows delve into the erotic space, but if you don’t have genuinely good content, no one will watch it. There’s a long learning ahead with all the hits and misses but I am happy that it will give TV a tough time. As once competition strikes, there will be some shakeup in the industry. It’s really a struggle as an artiste today to get good work.”

While the actor has no qualms in playing a bahu, she has her conditions rightly set. “For me to do a saas-bahu show, they need a kickass script. Trust me, there’s so much I want to do. I haven’t done enough.” Though the actor believes people are experimenting, it’s not working somehow. “Maybe the audience doesn’t like it or we haven’t yet managed to figure out the right way of doing it.”

Saumya is still remembered as Roop, the mirror image of Geet in Jab We Met. Saying that though she feels blessed to have debuted with the film, it’s disappointing that no other meaty roles came her way. “It’s been a decade and back then outsiders like me, with no strong surnames were not given good opportunities. And I didn’t want to do a film for the sake of it and become a heroine doing some silly erotic roles. I thus moved to TV and was lucky to have got the chance to host Dance India Dance. But cinema is changing with newer actors and different scripts, smaller films getting appreciation. I am really praying that some path-breaking role and script comes to me soon.”

Along with Saumya, Entertainment Ki Raat@9 will also see Neha Pendse, Mubeen Saudagar, Bakraj, RJ Abhilash indulging in gags, and interacting with film stars in a bid to spread laughter among viewers. Starting April 21, the show will air every weekend at 9 pm on Colors.

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