The Inside Story Behind Akshay Kumar’s Interview With PM Modi
On 24 April, news agency ANI had telecast a ‘non-political’ interview of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The interview was conducted by Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar. The hour-long chat saw the prime minister being asked questions on things such as eating mangoes, clothing and the medicine that he takes when suffering from a cold.
Now, according to The Quint’s sources, a very interesting back story has come forward regarding the interview. It has come to light that for this interview, the senior editorial team of Zee News made Akshay Kumar do some ‘homework.’
The sources said Akshay Kumar was given recommendations about the questions to be asked. The senior technical team of Zee Media even shot the interview and did the post-production work. The Quint has also got access to a picture from the day of the interview.
In the picture, Akshay Kumar and PM Modi are seen wearing the same outfit that they were wearing during the interview.
The people seen standing next to them are said to be the staff of Zee Media. They include the people belonging to the technical and the camera department.
Considering that ANI has its own production team, the question that is raised is why did the need for Zee Media’s help arise? Was it decided that the interview be conducted by ANI, as being a wire service, it would help it reach every channel?
- Did Zee contact Akshay Kumar for this interview with the PM? Or
- Did the PMO contact Akshay Kumar and tell Zee about the production?
- Did the PMO decide that the interview will not be released through Zee Network, but through ANI?
- Does Zee also give its production services to other parties?
Notably, PM Modi has already given an interview to Zee Media in connection with the 2019 elections. The Quint attempted to contact Zee Media in relation to this, but hasn’t got an answer yet.
(This story was first published on QuintHindi.)