Ameen Sayani, renowned as the ‘King of Radio’ in India, was a globally acclaimed radio presenter, best known for his iconic show, Binaca Geetmala. On February 20, 2024, Ameen Sayani passed away at 91, confirmed by his son, Rajil Sayani, to the Indian Express. His demise, caused by a heart attack, occurred at HN Reliance Hospital in Mumbai, despite medical efforts. Millions mourned the loss of India’s radio legend upon hearing the news.

Born on December 21, 1932, in Bombay (now Mumbai), Ameen Sayani’s journey in radio began at All India Radio, Bombay, where his brother introduced him. Over a decade, he hosted various English programs, gaining expertise in radio. His shows like S. Kumars Ka Filmi Muqaddama and Filmi Mulaqaat made AIR popular nationwide. Later, he presented shows like Bhoot Bangla and Teen Devian.

Ameen Sayani’s pinnacle of success came with Binaca Geetmala, which aired for over 42 years on Radio Ceylon and All India Radio. His signature opening line, “Namaskar bhaiyon aur behno, main aapka dost Ameen Sayani bol raha hoon,” became iconic. Throughout his career, he produced over 54,000 radio programs and 19,000 jingles since 1951, including international shows on BBC and other platforms.

Despite his immense influence, Ameen Sayani’s refusal to audition Amitabh Bachchan for All India Radio is a lesser-known fact. Bachchan, initially rejected by AIR, later became a voiceover sensation in Bollywood. Sayani’s insistence on appointments thrice before considering Bachchan’s audition showcases his discerning approach to talent.

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