The globally celebrated singing talent show has attracted 460 million viewers worldwide since it was launched in 2003. Speaking to reporters at the launching ceremony, Imran Aslam, the president of the Geo TV Network, said Pakistan had a history of producing talented musicians across genres. The Geo Network’s endeavour to bring forth talented musicians is a step towards keeping that cherished tradition alive.
“The Idol will be a platform for people who sing in private, in the bathroom or in small family gatherings. We will bring them together and provide them with the opportunity to showcase their hidden talent,” he said. “From among them, the people will choose one voice that will reign in our hearts.”
Asif Raza Mir, the managing director of Geo Entertainment, said the network was aware that there were security problems in Quetta and Peshawar, but the two cities were equally important. “So we will provide our contestants, judges and crewmembers with security,” he added. The eligibility age for the participants is between 15 and 30 years old. The reason for this, Asif explained, was to encourage youngsters in the first-ever Pakistani Idol. “We have a number of plans for the future. We will hopefully come up with Child Idol and another show for people aged between 30 and 60 years.”
About the possible inducements in store, Asif said the canvas for a Pakistani singer was not restricted to within the borders as many had craved a niche for themselves in the Indian entertainment industry. “When the show was first launched in the UK, the prizes that were offered were not the same as they are today; things happened gradually. But we will certainly provide the winner with the opportunity to sing for the Pakistani film industry which is growing with each passing day.” The sponsors also spoke on the occasion. ‘Idols’, co-owned by Fremantle Media and 19 Entertainment, is one of the most successful entertainment formats in the world. It was first aired in the UK as Pop Idol in 2001 and immediately became a worldwide phenomenon with local variations in Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North America and South America airing 199 series across 46 territories and attracting upwards of a staggering 6.5 billion votes worldwide.