Young Bollywood star Ayushmann Khurrana always wanted to pursue a career in the media and entertainment industry. At the age of 22, he became a radio jockey and started hosting the breakfast show, which is historically a citadel of the top RJ’s of India. Ayushmann’s show, coincidentally about Bollywood, went on to become hugely popular and on World Radio Day, the star reminisces about how this resulted in him wanting to be an entertainer for audiences!
He says, “At the age of 22, I was probably one of the youngest in the country to host a breakfast show which is generally hosted by very seasoned radio jockeys. So, here I was at my first job and they had given me the breakfast show and they had hugely promoted that show. I was on the hoardings in Delhi. So, that was really new for that time.”
Ayushmann adds, “We did a lot of disruptive content in 2006 when radio was going through the second phase and we started as a retro station! At 22, I don’t think there was anyone else, in my age group, who was well versed with retro Bollywood apart from me. So, my inclination towards music really helped me to be a good radio jockey and of course, my masters in journalism made me well equipped to host shows.”
Ayushmann Khurrana hosted ‘Maan Na Maan’ and then ‘Main Tera Ayushmann’ on the station before becoming a VJ on the country’s biggest youth TV channel. He then made his big Hindi film debut with ‘Vicky Donor’, which was a roaring success. He says, “I feel it is very important for everyone to cherish the starting point of one’s career because that’s the formative years of someone’s career. It can either make you or break you and I was fortunate to be surrounded by creative people who were looking to disrupt.”
Ayushmann is now called the poster boy of content cinema in India and his string of hit social entertainers have earned him the coveted recognition of being one of the ‘Most Influential People in the World’ by the prestigious TIME Magazine. He says, “I was always inclined to pursue a profession in entertainment and performance arts and my stint as a radio jockey really helped me get confident about myself. The success I saw with radio taught me that I could back myself and explore to become an entertainer. It is such a coincidence that I hosted some really off-centre shows.”
The versatile actor adds, “Looking back I feel I was always drawn to out of the ordinary concepts and that’s pretty much become my signature today as I tend to pick subjects that are fresh and unique. I owe a lot to my stint with the radio. I remember doing some really different concepts on my shows. I thank everyone for listening in and loving those ideas because it shaped who I am today. It propelled me to push myself and constantly explore to deliver something fresh to people.”
Ayushmann Khurrana further says, “There is outstanding talent in the radio industry and I was fortunate to meet with some of them and interact with them. Radio has been the pulse of the nation for years now and I’m glad I pursued a career in the industry right at the beginning because we could experiment so much and shape what people would eventually end up listening and engage with. It was super fun and hugely gratifying.”