Milind Soman tells us about I Can You Can, an adventure reality show that he is hosting, and his trekking experience to Everest Base Camp with the contestants
Smoking and Everest Base Camp trekking — two quite unrelated and ironic things in one sentence, aren’t they? Adventure reality show I Can You Can on online video platform Viu combines these two in an interesting manner. Produced by BBC India, I Can You Can, a captivating anti-smoking initiative went online on December 17.
Made in partnership with Nicotex, the six-episode series will be telecast every Sunday. It will be available on Viu and will be televised as a simulcast on National Geographic.
The show is hosted by actor, model and athlete Milind Soman, and showcases the journey of six people, including three who want to quit smoking and three who have already quit. “The interesting part of the journey is the interaction between the smokers and the ones who have quit and their efforts to not just conquer Everest Base Camp, but also their own ‘personal Everests’,” says Milind.
Having time and again raised the bar for fitness and health, Milind says, “Hosting I Can You Can was an exhilarating experience for me. We shot some breathtaking sequences in the unexplored terrains on our way to Everest Camp. I have been a chainsmoker in the past and I could relate to what the contestants of the show have been through. I think when something is so easily accessible and addictive, it just makes it tougher to put a stop to it. I hope with this show, viewers will realise how important a healthy lifestyle is and be encouraged to kick the butt.”
What made him quit smoking, we ask. “I began smoking when I had just entered the industry. Given our hectic schedules, the endless wait at shooting sights and other such things pushed me to begin smoking, given the number of smokers around me. All these years even while I was smoking, I knew it was wrong, always. One fine day, I just thought that I can’t continue this. One bad habit leads to a worse habit and similarly, one good habit leads to a better one. That was it. It wasn’t easy quitting, I took two years to give up completely but I did it and can feel the difference,” he says.
On the show, Milind says that he got an opportunity to interact with the six contenders and learn from them too. With an engaging and contemporary format of an adventure series, the weekly show aims at reaching out to millennials and hopes for each to conquer their own Everest.
“A lot of sharing of experiences happened among all of us,” he says adding that the six contenders on the show were chosen through a contest.
Remind him of the date — December 16, and the coincidence that he recently did a short film on Vijay Diwas — when Pakistani troops surrendered to the Indian Army after the 1964 war, Milind smiles and says, “Yes! I absolutely enjoyed doing that short film and love taking up such interesting projects.” When BBC India approached him with I Can You Can too, he “jumped at the opportunity”, he says.
Ask him about his next immediate plan, and he quickly replies, “Don’t even ask, because I don’t have any. I don’t believe in planning too much. I do what I like and enjoy doing it like that,” he concludes.