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KARAN THAPAR
Date of Birth 05-11-1955
Nationality Indian
Sunsign Scorpio
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Karan Thaparis one of India's television commentators and interviewers Born 5 November 1955 (age 56) Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, India. He is the youngest child of General P. N. Thapar and Mrs. Bimla Thapar.

Education

An alumnus of The Doon School and the Stowe School, he graduated with a degree in Economics and Political Philosophy from Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1977. In the same year, he was also President of the Cambridge Union. He subsequently obtained a doctorate in International Relations from St Antony's College, Oxford.


Career

He began his career in journalism with The Times in Lagos, Nigeria and later worked as their Leader Writer on the Indian subcontinent till 1981. In 1982 he joined London Weekend Television where he worked for the next 11 years. He then moved to India where he worked with The Hindustan Times Television Group, Home TV and United Television before setting up his own production house in August 2001, Infotainment Television, which makes programmes for amongst others BBC, Doordarshan and Channel News Asia.Currently the President of Infotainment Television, Thapar is noted for his aggressive interviews with leading politicians and celebrities- his interviews with cricketer Kapil Dev, George Fernandes, J. Jayalalithaa, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, General Pervez Musharraf, Benazir Bhutto, Arun Jaitley, Ram Jethmalani, U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and The Dalai Lama are particularly well remembered.A few of his shows which have been much watched are Eyewitness, Tonight at 10, In Focus with Karan, Line of Fire and War of Words. The shows with which he has been making headlines lately are, Devil's Advocate and The Last Word on CNN-IBN and India Tonight on CNBC TV 18.


Awards and accolades

In December 2003, he became the first person to win both awards in the current affairs category of the Asian Television Awards. His interview with Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Khurshid Kasuri, on Court Martial won 'The Best Current Affairs Program'. He received his second award for 'The Best Current Affairs Presenter' for his popular long-running BBC series Face to Face. In 2005 he won the 'Best Current Affairs Presenter' for the third time since 1999 for his interview with the former Indian Law Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) General Secretary Arun Jaitley on Hardtalk India. He won the 'Best Current Affairs Presenter' award yet again in 2007, this time for his much talked about interview with Ram Jethmalani on Devil's Advocate. In 2008 Devil's Advocate was conferred 'Best News/Current Affairs Show' by News Television Awards & Karan Thapar was presented the award for 'News Interviewer of the Year' by Indian News Broadcasting Awards. In April 2009 he was honored with the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award and was chosen the 'Journalist of the Year (Broadcast)'. In August 2009 he was adjudged the "News Show Host of the Year" by Indian News Broadcasting Awards. In March 2010 Devil's Advocate was accorded an award for being the "Best News Talk Show" by News Television Awards. In December 2010 he was adjudged the 'Best Current Affairs Presenter' by Asian Television Awards. He won this award for an interview with Ram Jethmalani on Devil's Advocate which had terminated abruptly as Jethmalani had walked out in anger midway when questioned about allegations of opportunism surrounding his return to a political party. In March 2011 Devil's Advocate was adjudged the "Best Current Affairs Programme" and Karan Thapar was declared the "TV News Anchor of the Year-English" by National Television Awards.


Controversies

    R. Prasanan criticized Thapar's interview with Gohar Ayub Khan for its hidden motives.
    Jayalalitha, Narendra Modiand Ram Jethmalanihave famously walked out of the show complaining about Thapar's style of interviewing them.
    In a year-end role-reversal interview of Karan Thapar, Arun Jaitley accused Thapar of being soft on his interviewees from Pakistan like Asif Ali Zardari when compared to Indian politicians.
    In a similar role-reversal interview with Karan Johar, Thapar acknowledged a continuig tiff with the Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan arising from an interview in which Thapar posed certain personal questions to the actor.
    In a separate interview with Mani Shankar Aiyar, Thapar named his interview with A. R. Rahman as the most unsatisfactory one till date.

Books

    Face To Face India - Conversations With Karan Thapar, Penguin, ISBN 0-14-303344-1
    Sunday Sentiments, Wisdom Tree, ISBN 81-8328-023-4
    More Salt Than Pepper - Dropping Anchor With Karan Thapar, Harper Collins, ISBN 978-81-7223-776-9



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