New Delhi, Oct 10, News24 Bureau: Amitabh Bachchan is currently hosting season 10 of Kaun Banega Crorepati and the show had once played an important role in his life when Big B was in deep financial trouble. KBC came as a saviour for both Big B and Star Plus and revived their fortune overnight.
"In the year 2000, when the entire world was celebrating the new century, I was celebrating my disastrous fortune. There were no films, no money, no company, a million legal cases against and the tax authorities had put a notice of recovery on my home,” said Amitabh Bachchan.
Amitabh Bachchan gained massive popularity in the 1970s and with his intense role in various movies he soon became the 'Angry Young Man' of Bollywod. Amitabh emerged as the most prominent figure in Hindi Cinema. Big B also becomes the most-nominated performer in any major acting category at Filmfare, with 36 nominations overall. Amitabh weaved his strong magic in Hindi Cinema for years and continues it till date successfully.
Amitabh has worked as a playback singer, film producer and television presenter, and was an elected member of the Indian Parliament from 1984 to 1987. In 1999, in a BBC Online Poll, Amitabh Bachchan was named the Superstar of the Millennium ahead of the likes of Alec Guinness and Marlon Brando. In June 2000 he became the first living Asian to have a wax statue erected in his honour at Madame Tussaud’s.
In the year 2000, when Amitabh was 57-year-old and when most people thinking about their retirement, he suffered a major financial crisis and lost everything he has acquired all these years.
The crisis in his life began after floating the company Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd (ABCL) that specialized in film production and event management. The company came into limelight in 1996 when it brought to India the Miss World Pageant. But in its tearing hurry to grow and expand, it seemed to have spread itself too thin without proper planning and management control.
In the first year, ABCL achieved its target turnover of Rs 65 crore and made a profit of 15 crores. But that growth was not substantiated in the second year. Soon trouble began between Bachchan and their professional managers.
In 1999 ABCL was facing an unprecedented liquidity crunch. In March 1999, hounded by creditors led by India’s public broadcaster Doordarshan and Canara Bank, ABCL approached the Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction to seek protection under the bankruptcy laws.
The Bombay high court restrained Bachchan from selling off his Mumbai bungalow ‘Prateeksha‘ and two flats till the pending loan recovery cases of Canara Bank were dealt with.
Despite such major loss, Amitabh was hopeful and soon fortune favoured him. Big B was back with a bang by 2000, this time on the small screen with Kaun Banega Crorepati—a series that revived his fortunes along with those of the STAR Plus. This was at a time when most movie stars saw television as a step back in their career but Bachchan changed that perception. Estimates reveal that Bachchan earned Rs 15 crore for 85 episodes of the show.
The rush of endorsements that came his way, like the ICICI Bank endorsement deal for Rs 10 crore, helped Big B pay back creditors and clean up ABCL’s balance sheet. Helping him in his hour of need were Subrata Roy of the Sahara group and Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh. At sixty plus, Amitabh Bachchan became a greater icon.