Divyadharshini Neelakandan’s bubbly presence and and popularity as a television host (Jodi Number One, Super Singer T20 and Home Sweet Home) could explain her taking over the seven-year-old chat show, Koffee with Anu in September. Renamed as Koffee with DD, the Star Vijay show known for its witty appeal, has since seen guests like actress Nayantara and Dhanush sharing their best moments from their lives. The show also has new segments. Neelakandan is happy with the “overwhelming response” and says her critics are her students. Surprised? Not many know that she is an assistant professor and teaches tourism and travel management at one of the city’s colleges. “They are very upfront and vocal about my show,” she tells us, adding that everything she wears on her shows are soon sold out. The host, tells us how she has made her latest show her very own:
I try to bring out the best in people. I don’t know whether a host can make the show. I definitely know they can break the show and I will never do that.
Every episode is memorable. Karthi spoke about how he loves wildlife. The segment in Dhanush’s episode where his family speaks about him is very emotional. Nayantara is very brave and upfront. She spoke really nice things about actress Trisha on how the latter broke the ice between them at an after party when they were not on talking terms.
I always get cold feet before I start shooting for every episode. And I go quiet once the camera stops rolling. So much so that it surprises my guests as well. Once actor Karthi asked, during the shoot, “Do you only speak when the camera is on?”
I’m a die-hard Rajinikanth fan. When he was unwell, I went to the Meenakshi Amman temple in Madurai, did an adi pradakshnam (penance walking barefoot), something I have not done for myself or my family (she laughs).
My inspiration is my sister Priyadarshini (former TV anchor). She has helped me not repeat her mistakes. I also take something from Ramya Subramanian and C Gopinath’s shows.
I would love to interview Ajith. Besides the fact that he’s such a perfect gentleman, I don’t know much about him.
I’m an ardent follower of the drama series One Tree Hill. And, I can watch Charlie Sheen over and over again.
Koffee with DD airs on Sunday at 7 pm on Vijay TV
— Madhuwanti Saha