Siddhartha Basu

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Siddhartha Basu
Siddhartha Basu 2014-03-29 23-03.jpg
Siddhartha Basu
Born Kolkata, India
Nationality Indian
Ethnicity Bengali
Occupation Chairman & Managing Director, BIG
Religion Hinduism

Siddhartha Basu is an Indian television producer-director and quiz show host, most known as producer-director of shows like Kaun Banega Crorepati (2000–present), and Dus Ka Dum (2008–2009). He is Chairman and Managing Director of Big Synergy Media Ltd., established in 1988 as Synergy Media Ltd., which produces these shows.[1][2] Starting in 1977 as a documentary film maker and directing TV programs, in 1985 he became a quiz show host with "Quiz Time" on the Doordarshan. Today he is widely regarded as the father of television quiz shows in India.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Kolkata in a Bengali Hindu family,[3] Basu grew up in Bombay, Delhi, and Madras. He did his early schooling from Besant Montessori School and Cathedral and John Connon School, Bombay, and later studied at Frank Anthony Public School, in Delhi. Next he moved to Chennai, and completed his schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya, IIT Madras. He returned to Delhi on way of becoming an English literature graduate from Delhi's St. Stephen's College, and subsequently a post graduate in the same subject from Arts Faculty, Delhi University from Hindu College. During this period in 1973, at the end of his second year, he was one of the founding members of Theatre Action Group (TAG), a theatre group in Delhi, under Barry John and acted in numerous plays in the coming years.[1][4][5] Siddhartha since acted in few television serials like "Purvaai" telecast on Doordarshan and most recently in the Bollywood movies Madras Cafe and Bombay Velvet.


Siddhartha Basu's career in television began in 1977 as a documentary filmmaker and directing TV programmes after he completed a post-graduate degree in English Literature from Delhi University. Meanwhile, he also worked with All India Radio as an announcer and hosted programs like General Overseas Service, and Yuva Vani.[1]

He started "Quiz Time" in the 1980s on Doordarshan. It was an inter-collegiate quiz show produced by ITV India, sponsored by Limca and Amul Chocolates. Basu has also conducted a number of live multimedia quiz contests on the corporate, college, and school circuits. Basu moved on to host and produce "Spectrum", the 7 nation SAARC Quiz, "The India Quiz", and "The Beanstalk Quiz Summit" (On Doordarshan), "Mastermind India", "University Challenge" (2003) on BBC World,[6] and "India's Child Genius" on STAR World. He is also author of Encyclopædia Britannica General Knowledge Book 'Know for Sure' which is very popular among school students. Eventually he, along with his wife Anita Kaul Basu, formed media business Synergy Communications Pvt. Ltd. in Delhi in 1988, which later became BIG Synergy in 2007. After its tie-up with Reliance Mediaworks, it is now part of the BIG Reliance Entertainment group. Today he is Chairman and Managing Director of the company.[1][3]

Basu's biggest quiz show success came in the form of "Kaun Banega Crorepati," produced for STAR Plus in 2000. KBC, as the show is also known, is the licensed Indian version of Celador's globally successful format "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" with Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan as its host. The second edition of the show KBC 2 began airing in August 2005 and notched up the highest ever opening in the history of Indian television, going on to sustain its position among the most watched programmes in the country. The third series of KBC was hosted by Shah Rukh Khan.

Sony's autumn hit show of 2006, "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa", the Indian version of BBC's celebrity dance show, Dancing with the Stars, was produced by his production company, Synergy Communications, which is now in an alliance with Adlabs Films, of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, as its television division, since 2007. Big Synergy has also produced Aap Ki Kachehri - Kiran ke Saath, Sacch Ka Saamna, and Khelo Jeeto Jiyo on Star Plus, India's Got Talent on Colors, and Dus Ka Dum with Salman Khan as host on Sony.


Basu acted as The President of India in the 2014 Malayalam movie How Old Are You? which was directed by Rosshan Andrews that marked the return of celebrated actress Manju Warrier to the silver screen. He played the crucial role of Robin Dutt (RD) in John Abraham's critically acclaimed film Madras Cafe, released on 23 August 2013. The film was much appreciated by critics and proved to be an average grosser at the box office. Basu's last appearance was in Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet, which flopped at the box office.

Personal life[edit]

Siddhartha is married to Anita Kaul Basu, who worked as a journalist with India Today magazine from 1983–1988 and with whom in 1988 he set up Synergy, a television production company.[1] They have a son, Aditya and a daughter, Medha.[7]



Year Film Role Notes
2013 Madras Cafe Robin Dutt (RD)
2014 How Old Are You Malayalam film
2015 36 Vayadhinile Tamil film
2015 Bombay Velvet


External links[edit]