Do you intentionally make it awkward for your celebrity guests in ‘Sense of Humor’?
People are always curious about the personal lives of famous celebrities. Regular updates are easily available on TV and social media. But people want more; they want to pry into the darkest corners of the lives of celebrities to find out more about them and shows like Sense of Humor satiate these innate curiosities of the people. Take the show Uncensored by Rafi Hossain as an example. The more you intrude into the lesser known facts about these well-known faces, the more it becomes intriguing for the viewers. People's tastes are always changing with time. Thus these spicy talk shows are an attempt to drag the viewers' attention back towards television shows.
Do the celebrities find it comfortable to talk about their personal lives in front of the camera?
While hosting these shows I realized that anchoring is almost like driving a car. As an anchor, the steering remains in your hand so you are in charge of the speed and the direction. At times, some guests try to avoid certain questions and that is when I play my card. While talking in front of the camera, an artist is greatly influenced by the host sitting in front of them. So, I motivate them in a way that they give away interesting information.
Why did you decide to choose anchoring over acting?
Acting and anchoring are related. I am a media person and I am familiar with both. Currently, I am focusing more on anchoring because I am getting great response from the viewers. I am also on a break from acting because I am directing movies. My first directed movie bagged two national awards and I have currently submitted the script for my second movie Arpita to ATN Bangla.
Our television is losing audience despite having so many channels and such a variety of shows. Why do you think this is happening?
I think it is because the TV channels are lacking creative programs like the ones I do. By that, I of course do not mean talk shows are the only option. TV channels need to come up with different ideas to draw the attention of the audience. Most importantly the channels should respect the artists. TV channel owners should focus more on the content of the programs they are airing; rather than just earning money from advertisements. TV channels nowadays are airing shows which are new and diverse but they are not well designed or probably the people conducting the show are not experienced enough. Sometimes a spontaneous effort is more essential than a scripted plot. If the person in charge is not experienced enough to portray his talent beyond a written script, increasing TRP becomes difficult. Instant spontaneity is extremely essential here.
You are also directing movies. If I name some of the top directors of our country, like Amitabh Reza, Giasuddin Selim, Dipankar Dipon, Taukir Ahmed, who do you think is the best?
All of them are trying their best to come up with great ideas. All of them possess the required knowledge and passion. But when it comes to implementing those, each of them has their own distinct perception. Our genre of work is really different and so it is not appropriate to compare our industry with other movie industries like the Iranian industry, for example. Our quality tends to fluctuate a lot. For example, after Monpura when Giasuddin Selim announced his comeback with Swapnajaal after nine years, it stirred a breeze of excitement among many, but after watching the movie, the audiences returned with utter disappointment. So, maintaining the quality throughout becomes pretty challenging. Animesh Aiche is another big name of this fraternity. His incredible work in Television has raised the bar high but his recent movie Voyangkor Sundor could not satisfy the audience. Don't get me wrong, I respect all of them and follow their work, but this is the bleak truth.
Who would you want to work with if given a chance?
I would want work with the one paying me the highest remuneration (giggles)
The television industry is turning into a loss project gradually. Why is the situation getting worse day by day and how can we come out of this crisis?
TV channels are attaching less importance to fictional drama. I feel there is less hope left for our television industry. One of the biggest reasons behind this is the involvement of various agencies. The TV channels rely greatly on the agencies and they select dramas for the TV channels. Therefore, the TV channels often air programs that they have not reviewed themselves. Healthy competition is really necessary which can only take place when the channels themselves preview the dramas before telecasting them. Actors should be given due respect and priority. Apart from actors like Mosharraf Kareem, Apurbo and a few others, most of the actors these days are struggling to earn their living.
Interviewed by Rafi Hossain