Bollywood's Bachchan back as 'Millionaire' host

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has announced his return as host of the Indian version of TV quiz "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?", 10 years after it helped revive his flagging fortunes.

The 67-year-old, known to his legions of fans as "The Big B", confirmed on his blog and the micro-blogging site Twitter that he would front the popular "Kaun Banega Crorepati" show.

"So its Kaun Banega Crorepati after 10 years of its first broadcast in year 2000 and goodness it all feels like it was yesterday," Bachchan wrote on his blog at http://bigb.bigadda.com on Wednesday evening.

"No one, but no one, had advised me to do it, except the channel (Sony Television). But the day it started many worlds changed. Mine for sure... KBC was and has been an extraordinary experience for me for many reasons."

Bachchan, who made his name as the "angry young man" of Hindi-language cinema in the 1970s with hits such as "Sholay" (Fire), was in the doldrums in the late 1980s and 1990s.

A production company he set up failed, he had run-ins with hardline Hindu nationalist parties in Mumbai who saw him as an outsider, and his relationship with the media was tetchy.

But "Kaun Banega Crorepati" helped him bounce back in spectacular fashion, cementing his place as India's most popular actor. He was last seen in the thriller "Teen Patti" (Three Cards) alongside British actor Ben Kingsley.

Bachchan hosted KBC, as it is popularly known, until he was forced to pull out because of illness in 2006. Fellow actor Shahrukh Khan took his place.

The game show features heavily in the Vikas Swarup novel "Q and A" which was adapted into the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire".

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