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Shehnaz Sheikh Discloses Rs800 per Episode Earnings for ‘Ankahi,’ Emphasizes Shifts in the TV Industry.

The veteran actor highlighted the substantial improvement in pay within the television industry today compared to earlier times.


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Renowned Pakistani actress Shehnaz Sheikh, celebrated for iconic roles in classics like Ankahi and Tanhaiyaan, revealed exclusive details about her career in a recent interview with BBC News Urdu, shedding light on the transformation of the entertainment sector over the years.

In a nostalgic recollection of her early days, Sheikh reminisced about earning Rs800 per episode for her role in the 1982 hit drama Ankahi. Transport and meals were self-provided, highlighting the modest beginnings of her journey. However, with the success of Tanhaiyaan in 1985, her earnings saw a slight uptick to Rs1000 per episode, indicative of the evolving standards for leading actors of that era.

Addressing her return to television with a revamped version of Ankahi, Sheikh shared her initial reluctance, eventually persuaded by director Asim Tiwana’s persistence. This return not only marked a professional endeavor but also served as a reunion with industry colleagues, reflecting on the fleeting nature of time.

Sheikh also delved into the changing dynamics of production quality, particularly in areas like hair, makeup, and overall aesthetics. While acknowledging the positive shifts, she also raised questions about the justification of exorbitant salaries for contemporary actors.

The interview touched upon the transition in content creation, attributing it partly to the influence of corporate sponsors who prioritize commercial interests over artistic integrity. Sheikh lamented the departure from narratives championed by writers like Haseena Moin, noting a shift towards more formulaic and melodramatic storytelling driven by audience preferences.

Reflecting on her decision to decline a role in the 2012 adaptation of Tanhaiyaan, Sheikh emphasized the importance of preserving the legacy of iconic productions and maintaining standards in adaptation projects.

Shehnaz Sheikh also weighed in on the impact of social media on privacy and entertainment consumption, acknowledging its benefits while expressing concerns about the loss of personal space.

Looking ahead, Sheikh expressed a desire for meaningful projects aligned with her values, despite the apparent lack of interest from industry peers. Nonetheless, she remains hopeful about embracing retirement on her own terms, guided by her unwavering passion for storytelling.

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