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AT IT AGAIN!

Armed with a new bag of gags, Shekhar Suman is all set to storm our TV sets again. SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY catches up with the super wit.

Photo: R.V. Moorthy.

Shekhar Suman... all set to spread smiles.

WHEN SHEKHAR Suman says he is quite serious otherwise, you simply laugh. He and seriousness, that's an utter lie! "Believe me, I am actually so. And, all my talk shows are real serious business," says the man in question. A... what, you said!

"Yeah, because they all are satires. You laugh at the conjectures but when that smile on your face

subsides, you do think of the seriousness of the subject, and that is the idea behind all my shows,"

says the glib talker again. Well, this time you believe him. For, you have seen his popular shows, "Movers & Shakers" on Sony and "Simply Shekhar" on Zee TV and you know what he is talking about.

Drawing the same yardstick to fill contents as in these shows, Shekhar this time arrives on SABe TV every Monday at 10 p.m. through Thursday.

"The base is the same as `M & S but the difference is it will be served fresh to the viewers," Shekhar informs. Named "Carry on Shekhar", the new avatar is a half-hour programme, a spoof on daily news. "It will be almost a live show. For the 10 o'clock slot, the contents will be shot only at 8 o' clock," he adds. There will be guests in the show too but Shekhar promises that all will have to carry on with his high jinks.

But, that is nothing new. Who does not remember his lampooning of politicians like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Laloo Prasad Yadav, Sonia Gandhi, Rabri Devi and others?

"But they all have appreciated me. After all, they are people's representatives and we have every right to question them," comes the reply. "Carry on Shekhar" will also have chatting with guests on the show and his usual dos. "Also, we will have a band. Not the same one as in M & S but of course, a Sardarji will be there. There can't be any comedy without a sardarji," says Shekhar. Besides, each episode will have an unknown entity from any part of the country reciting his or her humorous poetry on any public figure or situation of general interest.

All that is fine but why is that we always copy Western shows instead of doing something innovative all by ourselves? The name of the latest show itself can be referred back to the famous `Carry On' comedy series. And that's when you see a shade of seriousness on Shekhar's expression: "Nothing that way can be stamped as original. There may be shows like mine in the West before but ultimately the spirit of my shows is Indian. And, do not forget, we have been having `sutradhars' since the olden times."

Breaking away from conversation in between to pose for snaps and to interview prospective parody masters for his new programme, Shekhar looks quite busy. "I am indeed very busy. In fact, next year will be busier," he adds.Coming soon in Kundan Shah's film, "Kasam Se", the `Bihari Babu' will be seen in many films in 2004 paart from plays.Also, he has cut his debut music album, "Kuch Khwab Hai" scheduled for release this December. "There are eight songs in it, all written and sung my me. In fact, they are all love ballads," Shekhar adds.

Well, this one must be for his hardcore fans.

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