From the entries that came pouring in, the crème of budding Asian comedy talent has been selected, and the announcement made of the final four funsters to make The Great Indian Laughter Challenge – a unique television comedy event, coming exclusively on STAR One.
The uproarious jokes were endless, as aspiring comedians sent in their video entries to the website, www.startvprizes.com, or by calling the hotline number to recite their favourite jokes, in the hope of making it to the heated final of STAR One’s unique, televised opportunity of a lifetime – The Great Indian Laughter Challenge – India’s rip-roaring answer to Last Comic Standing, and now a TV comedy institution in its own right.
The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’s fantastic four will go head to head on 24th November 2007 at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, when they compete to get one step closer to winning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to India, where they will be having the last laugh, as they join the professionals on the sets of some of STAR TV’s most popular TV shows.
From the barrels of laughs that flooded in, the judging panel painstakingly made their selection of the four finalists, who will battle it out to champion this year’s coveted prize of a trip to India to meet the STAR TV Laughter Challenge stars. The fun-filled showdown will be exclusively recorded and broadcast by STAR One at a date to follow. The final winning decision will rest with audiences, as they will be able to vote for the finalist they want to win, by calling the STAR TV hotline number to make their nominations, or by visiting The Great Indian Laughter Challenge miscrosite, where they will be given the chance to view all of the finalists’ performances once again.
The fantastic four to proceed through The Great Indian Laughter Challenge are as follows:
Aged 71, Gurbachan Chadha was born in Rawalpindi, before the partition of India and Pakistan. He settled in Delhi, after working for an intermediate period as a Mathematics lecturer in Shimla, and arrived in the UK in 1971. A proud family man, Gurbachan is now established in Whitefield, Manchester and started up with a modest ten-pound note in his pocket. Visiting shop after shop, in the hope of setting up a meeting with various company bosses, Gurbachan would be offered a consolatory cup of tea by the secretaries who consistently informed him that the boss was unavailable, at which point he would retrieve cake and biscuits from his car, before returning to entertain them with his endless one-liners. This would often attract the attention of the bosses, who would thus emerge from the wings, to meet the remarkable man that had the staff in stitches of laughter about the office. Hence, it was through his inimitable sense of humour that Gurbachan managed to climb the business ladder.
Aged 35, Rajesh Srivastava was born in Deoria, in India’s Uttar Pradesh region, before arriving in the UK one and a half years ago, to settle in Ilford. Having studied Engineering at Gorakhpur College, where he also played the role of Cultural Secretary, Rajesh is now a Program Manager for one of the three largest IT companies in India. Rajesh’s party trick is the art of mimicry, which he uncovered at college, going on to perform at technical colleges throughout the region of Uttar Pradesh. Also a keen writer, much of Rajesh’s poetry and articles have been published on the website, anubhuti-hindi.org. With the ability to effortlessly mimic no less than 20 Bollywood stars, including Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Raj Kumaar, Mithun Chakraborty and Anupam Kher, Rajesh is ecstatic at the opportunity of partaking in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge in the UK, being a dedicated follower and fan of the previous series. Knowing his passion for mimicry and for the formidable TV show, it was Rajesh’s wife who first encouraged him to enter the competition.
Aged 26, Mandeep Singh was born in Lakhimpur, Uttar Pradesh, the son of a local advocate. Mandeep arrived in the UK in 2004, and currently works as a Software Developer in Bournemouth. Renowned among his circle of friends for being the joker in the pack and a full-time prankster, Mandeep creates his own comedy by writing his own jokes and scripts, rather than citing an endless stream of popular one-liners. Mandeep’s role models are patriotic and spiritual leaders, such as Bhagat Singh and Guru Gobind Singh, who selflessly sacrificed and lived for the benefit of others. Faith is an intrinsic part of Mandeep’s personal philosophy, and he enjoys every moment of life, living life Singh Size, as King Size is too small. Bollywood star, Akshay Kumar, is one of Mandeep’s role models, with whom he shares the same birthday. Admiring Akshay’s on-screen reactions and delivery of dialogues and one-liners, Mandeep is also a huge fan of Bollywood’s comic veterans, such as Asrani and Keshto Mukherjee.
Aged 23, Mancunian Mani Liaqat is originally from Sialkot, Pakistan. A sales assistant and wannabe professional comedian, Mani’s other interests include meeting new people, cricket and all things Bollywood. Claiming that he knew he possessed a prize comic streak the day he entered the world, Mani was once mistaken for Salman Khan, except Salman boasts a six-pack, while Mani boasts a sixteen-pack. Mani’s deceased father is his personal role model in life, while Govinda inspires him on a professional level, and he sees comedy as food for the soul. Mani feels that his purpose in life is to make people smile, and feels that a regular dose of Mani a day is sure to keep the doctor away.