As if appointing conspiracy nutcase Dr S&M as President of the network were not scraping the barrel enough, ARY's latest "golden catch" is the amazingly insufferable Aamir Liaquat Hussain, formerly of Jaahil Online and currently spending his gap weeks selling ghee. The Haji seths of ARY seem to think the way to get Geo's viewership is to buy off their nutcases. (I wait with bated breath for Saleh Zaafir to make the transition.) The publicity hungry fake doc will begin his stint on the network in Ramzan.
But perhaps even more intriguing is how Geo managed to rid itself of the poisonous buffoon.
According to inside sources, there had been an ongoing tussle for quite some time between Geo owner Mir Shakilur Rahman (MSR) and his Karachi American School- and Babson College-educated son Mir Ibrahim Rahman (MIR) over Mr Jaahil himself. Mir Ibrahim was said to have been incensed particularly after Aamir Liaquat called Ahmadis wajib-ul-qatl (liable to be killed) on his programme and the strong denunciation that followed from civil society. However, MSR, for reasons best known to him, resisted his son's plea to remove him from the channel. In many matters of business, MSR just did not think the young MIR was experienced enough.
A couple of things seem to have made MSR finally relent. One was his discovery that Aamir Liaquat - who apparently used to snivel for raises every six months or so - was in negotiations with ARY. Secondly, the ratings of Jaahil Online had actually plummeted in the past few months, which made cutting ties relatively painless business-wise. A tangential element in the whole episode was probably that MIR, who had gone away for a year for
Whatever the reasons for throwing a charlatan out, I guess better late than ever.
Meanwhile, guess who takes over Aamir Liaquat's duties to make money for Geo during special Ramzan iftar broadcasts? Believe it or not, host-of-his-own-show on both television and radio cum washing powder seller extraordinaire to housewives, Sahir Lodhi. In addition to being the brother of Dr Shahista Wahidi (the host of the morning transmission on ARY Digital) and thinking of himself as Shah Rukh Khan, this is how his biography on his own website describes Lodhi:
"Sahir heart throb of millions of people. Glittering face of
has a fan frenzy appearance, He is successful but his success story is as same as any run-of-the-mill around. Once while interacting with young students at a school ceremony, he expressed, “I pray for you all that one day you become Sahir Lodhi or better…” Sahir always articulates common man’s language. Over his life, he has always believed in making so many people one people. His fans, not cynically or ironically but with fervent and zealous love, refer to him as a Super King." Pakistan
Well, Super King seems to fulfil at least the super-size ego criteria that Geo's Ramzan programming hosts seem to need to satisfy. Seriously though, bizarre as it may sound, Sahir Lodhi's Jay Leno-inspired show on TV One has apparently one of the top ratings for its time slot. Could this be the precursor for a permanent shift to Geo? Can he manage to get the daagh on (at least some of) Geo's religious programming out as easily as he did while selling Ariel in the streets?
Meanwhile, even as Super King gives his Geo screen test, the search is on for a replacement for the programme now without a host. Some interesting (read: out of the box) names are also apparently in the mix. Watch this space.