An Interview With RJ and Presenter Anushka Arora

She looks very pretty in mustard pants and a white chiffon blouse. I see her from far away and think where have I seen her. I even approach her to ask her if she’s a Youtuber but she smiles and says no. We are at Madamme Tasauds for the Press Conference of Shahrukh Khan‘s movie ‘Fan’.

I go home and think hard as to where I’ve seen her. Then I remember, OMG! That’s Anushka Arora and I’ve seen her interview bollywood celebrities on TV. Thats it!

Next, I see her at the Bollygoods event where Gauri Khan is a chief guest and this time I request her for a photo. No, not Gauri Khan, I’m talking about Anushka!

And then we meet again at the 24 Season 2 (Indian version) Press Conference with Anil Kapoor and this time I request her for an interview.

We decide to meet up.

I make my way to Selfridge’s and wait for her. She texts me saying she will be a bit late. She comes straight from her show on Sunrise Radio and is dressed in a black sweatshirt, trousers and trainers. She treats me with a cappuccino and we start talking.

Those of you who don’t know, Anushka Arora is an RJ and a presenter. She has interviewed many celebrities for various Radio and TV channels.

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Photo By: Adnan Kundi of The London Tree (adnzafar@yahoo.co.uk)

NK: How did you come into the field of presenting, comparing and DJing.

AA: I was studying journalism and I really enjoyed reporting about entertainment. I started off with Ealing Hospital Radio.

NK: What is it like to interview Shahrukh Khan?

AA: Its a little bit formal but I think with Shahrukh because I’ve interviewed him so many times now, that its sort of a comfort level there. I’ve interviewed him for Chennai Express, I spent 2 days with him. I’ve interviewed him for Dilwale and Fan, so he knows me now and its quite nice that we are on a level. I guess the formality with Shahrukh is because he is ‘Shahrukh Khan’ and his the presence will always make you kind of step back a bit but he is a very very nice person.

We had been doing the filming of Fan, I spent 2 days with him. On the first day he recognized me instantly. I still remember and I will never ever forget this. We were filming a scene in the movie. I was an extra that day and he was with his crew. I was standing with the rest of the actresses, freezing in a lehnga. He had sent someone to call me over and this guy comes up to me and says “Are you Anushka” and I said “Yes”. “Somebody wants to see you”. I said to myself I hope I havn’t done anything wrong.

The next thing I know is he’s taking me to Shahrukh who just wanted to say hello. I think because i’ve worked with him previously for Chennai Express, he knew who I was. He had the courtesy to say hello and acknowledge me. Since then we kind of had that comfort level with eachother. Then I saw him for Dilwale again where I spent 2 days with them. And then I saw him again for Fan interviews.

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Photo By: Hiten Ondhia

NK: You’re always very professional, do you ever get nervous?

AA: The only time I’m nervous is when I host events, because its huge like Wembley arena and O2 arena, I don’t mind facing a huge audience but the only time I’m nervous is when I go on the stage first as I don’t know how the audience is going to react. But once when I click with the audience then its absolutely fine.

NK: It just reminded me of that scene from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, where they go on the stage to sing and people start throwing eggs and tomatos at them. (laughs)

AA: Yeah, you don’t know what the audience can do as they have the power to that.

NK: Have you ever presented in India?

AA: I did some TV presenting in India. I was n Bombay in January this year and I did the Big Boss finale. So I was broadcasting live on the radio and I was filming with Colours TV as well at that time. It was really really nice. It was my first experience working In india and I always wanted to do that. The filming was spanned over a whole day, over 12 hours.

It was a finale day and Salman Khan was there. Katrina Kaif and Aditya Roy Kapur were there to promote Fitoor. So we stayed for the filming to find out who the winner was. After that I became very good friends with a contestent who invited me to the after party. It was in Salman Khan’s little house that he has attached to the Big Boss house. So I spent the entire night at the after party of Big Boss with everybody like Salman Khan and all the contestents. Salman Khan didn’t say anything to me, he was so chilled out, I think I caught him on a really good day. He was walking by and I said hi, I’m Anushka from Sun Rise Radio. I had interviewed him many years ago for London Dreams and he remembered me. That was such a nice gesture. Its a nice feeling because at the end of the day I talk about these people on the radio and I don’t expect them to know that I exist or acknowledge me. Its the same with Shahrukh. When they acknowledge, I feel like what I do is being rewarded.

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NK: Do you recommend kids who are going into unversity now, to come into media with a degree.

AA: I would yes. Only because especially with the Asian media and bollywood, its such a small market. You’re hopping from one place to another and there are certain media who are big and well recognized. They pay you well and treat you well, otherwise in smaller media house you hardly get paid anything. In order for you to have the backing for yourself, you need to have a solid background.

I would really encourage them to get into media especially Asian. In our industry we don’t have a learning platform, there’s no development or training platform and its sad because I would love to train younger people who want to get into it. But where is the platform to do that. If somebody want to study media and want to do experience where are they going to go because no one offers experience. In the sense its a little bit sad.

But they also need to understand that if they want to get into Asian media, they will have to start very low. You can’t just automatically go in and get an amazing show or online portal to write for someone. You honestly have to work your way up in the media.

NK: Do you think if someone in India is watching you, they would be very fascinated.

AA: I find that platform or TV or radio is much much bigger in India. If someone was to ask me what will you do after this.  I would love be on a bigger platform in India, in Bombay doing TV but again to get and go there its difficult to risk your whole career that you’ve set up here but the fact that if someone is listening to you in India they have this certain view that Oh! she’s from London, oh! she speaks really good hindi and she knows her bollywood stuff, then its fine but they don’t understand the hard work of 9 years that’s gone behind it. A lot of people think that. Yesterday  I was at a boat party, they had a DJ and I was dancing and having loads of fun. This guy comes up to me and says wow! I didnt realize you know so many bollywood songs. I said knowing these songs is my job, I have to know them.

So some people arent aware, they know I do radio but they dont know the story behind it or the hard work thats gone into it.

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Photo By: Hiten Ondhia

N.K: How do you choose your clothes? What is in your mind when you’re choosing what you have to wear for a certain interview?

AA: Its really hard. I don’t have a stylist as I like to take control of my own appearance.

NK: You’re doing a really good job!

AA: Thank you! I choose it all myself, if theres an event happening, I pop over to a shopping mall and just browse. I dont specifically go with a mind set that oh! I need mustard pair of trousers and a white top. Literally I think i’m kind of like a man when it comes to shopping. To be honest I don’t like shopping. I lose a lot of patience. I used to like it but now that im so busy I cant handle it anymore. I just go into a shop and if I like something ill pick it up. I dont spend hours browsing.  I just keep it simple, I dont try too hard. If I find something then good otherwise ill find something in my cupboard.

Yes I do go with a mind set thinking, ok lets see what out there but its never like lets wear a dress today. I have no qualms about that but when I go to big events then its very important. With Asian clothes, I’m a but fussier as it has to be alright! For example, For the Asha bhosle concert, Arjit Singh concert, Shankar Ehsan Loy shows, I have people like BB London and Soltee, they’re really good. When I need something they will always send something to me. If I cant go to them then they send me pictures and then I have to get them altered as its never my size. So the whole week is spent getting outfits sorted before an event. With indian clothes you have to be fussy with the colours and all. It also depends on nature of the event.

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Are you very brand conscious?

I like wearing a mix of high street brands, especially when its western wear. When it comes to Indian wear, I am brand conscious. I have to admit to that. I just think its something about these brands that makes me feel better. I’ve also worn Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi Mukherjee. I do like new designers but its sad that we don’t have much variety like in India. A lot of indian designers have not explored the UK market yet.

When I see you, I notice that your makeup look is very simple yet perfect. How do you do it?

Honestly if I had a choice I wouldn’t even wear makeup because I dont like it. I’ve not liked it from day 1. Even in my family, my sister doesn’t wear makeup. My mum hardly wears any makeup. We’re from a very simple family. I haven’t been in the surrounding of lots of makeup or lots of dressing up. My dad likes it very simple and elegent. I always joke around him. When I get ready I ask him, dad do I look elegent today? He keeps a check on me because I don’t want to go over the top looking like a christmas tree or a pastry.

The difference in the hair and makeup over here and back home is so different. I love the way they do makeup in India. I honestly love it so much.

So I get a no makeup look done which is very simple. I want to leave the glamorous look for my wedding! (laughs)

We wrapped up the conversation with some light chat about general stuff.

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