Mumbai, Jan 21 - The 14-year-old relationship between Gajendra Singh, the man behind 'Antakshari', and his parent channel Zee has ended on a bitter note with the music-scout moving out with bag, baggage and creativity to the flourishing STAR network.
Singh refuses to speak against Zee. But the hurt is evident when he talks about his long association during which he discovered striking singing talent and gave Zee its only constant and steady TRP booster.
'I wouldn't like to take credit for the success of either 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' or 'Antakshari'. Instead, I'd like to thank Zee for giving me a platform. However, it was time for me to move on. I'm looking forward to working closely with STAR,' Singh told IANS.
This latest acquisition in STAR's TRP purchase scheme has been on for some time even as the channel heads were busy finalising Shah Rukh Khan to take over 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' (KBC).
Singh's pay packet at STAR isn't comparable with Shah Rukh's for 'KBC' but it's about double of what Zee had been paying him all these years.
'STAR is giving me ample scope to innovate. Regarding what kind of shows I'd be putting on for STAR, all I can say is audiences will get what they expect from me.'
Steps are being taken to revise Singh's flagship shows on Zee into a profile that would be legally acceptable to both parties.
'However, let me inform you that I won't be an employee of STAR. Instead, I'm starting my own production company Sai Baba Telefilms Pvt Ltd. It will produce my music shows for STAR.'
Singh goes on air with his show in January end, at about the same time as 'KBC'.
'KBC is STAR's first priority right now. But I'm glad to see their enthusiasm. I've decided to revive 'Antakshari' in a new concept and format,' said Singh.
Apparently, most of the 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' team, including anchor Shaan and the resident music directors on the show, are ready to join Singh at STAR.
'I'm very very happy and excited. After 14 years it seems like the end of one phase and the beginning of another,' remarked Singh.
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