If I had selected Amitabh Bachchan for RJ, Indian cinema would have lost jewel of an actor! - Ameen Sayani
Just as Amitabh Bachchan is the star of millennium likewise Ameen Sayani is the undisputed monarch of Radio. Winner of Indian government’s highest civilian award Padma Shri, Ameen Sayani is recognized for his evergreen radio program BINACA GEET MALA that captured Bollywood hit parade on Radio Ceylon (Sri Lanka old name). The program was such a hit that it was even broadcast from AIR’s Vividh Bharati for almost 46 years.
At 81, Sayani is back on Radio thanks to the popularity of Golden Era. He will be presenting a program ‘SITARON KI JAWANIYAAN’ every Sunday evening on Radio City.
Recalling an interesting anecdote Ameen Sayani at the promotion of his forthcoming radio show ‘SITARON KI JAWANIYAAN’ said, “During the late 60’s I was the busiest Radio announcer. I was engaged at radio station around the globe that included India, Sri Lanka, the US, Canada, Britain, UAE and New Zealand. During the same period eminent actor Amitabh Bachchan visited A.I.R. to try his luck as an announcer but each time he would come I would be busy and my receptionist would ward him off saying come after taking appointment.”
He added, “Thus I could never take Amitabh Bachchan’s voice audition test. Disappointed Amitabh gave hope and tried his luck in Bollywood.” He continues, “Few year later when I saw ANAND (1971) I was quite impressed by Bachchan’s baritone and felt he was an ideal announcer for Radio.”
He informs, “Afterwards I got the opportunity to interview Amitabh Bachchan and I praised him for being a monarch of such a good voice. It was then that Bachchan informed me that he had visited me thrice at A.I.R. for voice modulation test but I could never entertain him and we had a great laugh.”
Ameen Sayani however confesses, “Though I lament rejecting Bachchan for A.I.R. but on second thought I feel if I had selected Amitabh Bachchan for Radio announcer’s job, Indian cinema would have lost a precious jewel of an actor!
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