TV show host, actor and politician Tariq Aziz passed away on Wednesday at the age of 84 in Lahore. He was best known for the quiz show Neelam Ghar on PTV which was later renamed The Tariq Aziz Show (1997) and later Bazm-e-Tariq Aziz (2006).
Aziz was diabetic and according to his wife, he was taken to the hospital in the morning after he complained about feeling ill.
Aziz was born on April 28, 1936 and received his early education in Sahiwal, according to a profile on PTV. His first job was with Radio Pakistan (Lahore).
جنوبی ایشیا کی ٹیلی ویژن سکرین پر
نمودار ہونے والا پہلا چہرہ
پاکستان کے مقبول ترین اور سینئر ٹی وی میزبان طارق عزیز جہان فانی سے رخصت کر گئے ہیں۔ pic.twitter.com/lA6K0OMkjG
— PTV Home (@PTVHomeOfficial) June 17, 2020
Aziz was part of the inaugural team of presenters of PTV on the first day of its transmission on November 26, 1964. The first day of TV transmission in Pakistan comprised of: a quiz show hosted by Ashfaq Ahmed, a song by Tufail Niazi and a long play starring Qavi Khan and Mehnaz Rafi. The announcements were made by Aziz and Kanwal Naseer.
He also acted in 42 films from 1968 to 1988. Around 33 of the films were in Urdu and the rest were in Punjabi, including a supporting role Insaniyat along with Zeba and Waheed Murad, and Haar Gaya Insaan.
After a career in films, Aziz decided to return to TV with Neelam Ghar in 1974 . His tagline: “Yeh water cooler aap ka hua” became an instant hit.
Neelam Ghar was one of the first general knowledge quiz shows in the country with a mass following. The format was quite simple: a selected audience member would after specific questions for extravagant prizes. The show also brought in major commercial sponsorship like Hitachi.
Aslam Azhar, who was in charge of PTV at the time, designed the programme after some game shows with mass prizes on American TV channels.
Aziz was also actively involved in politics. He was a member of the National Assembly in the late 90s.
Prime Minister Imran Khan called him an icon of this time and condoled with the family.
Saddened to learn of the passing of Tariq Aziz, an icon in his time and a pioneer of our TV game shows. My condolences and prayers go to his family.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 17, 2020
Several celebrities took to social media to share the impact he had on them growing up.
A devastating loss. One of the first people I remember watching on tv. Such a powerful host and a great legend. His voice, personality and demeanor made an impact on me even as a child. You will always be in my prayers, sir.
Rest in peace.#TariqAziz #rip
— Navin Waqar (@navin_waqar) June 17, 2020
*Yeh Electra Aap Ka Hua*
Tariq Aziz was a giant in several fields, arguably the biggest of the other three greats of quizzing on PTV, Ghazi Salauddin, Obaidullah Baig and Naeem Bokhari. Truly a pillar of Pakistan’s cultural life.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un
— Fasi Zaka (@fasi_zaka) June 17, 2020
DAIKHTI ANKHOO AUR SUNTAY KANOO.
RIP Tariq Aziz Sb,What an Icon.The only time I asked A guest to start the show & I remmember his hands trembling when he held the Mike (because of his age) BUT the moment cameras started rolling, the Voice came out with its trademark Grandeour.. pic.twitter.com/N4f90zRbd6
— vasay chaudhry (@vasaych) June 17, 2020
— Umar Saif (@umarsaif) June 17, 2020
Rest in peace Tariq Aziz Sahab. You gave us an era. A childhood full of memories. You gave us gifts and so much more. We forget our heroes too soon. But I am confident you shall never be forgotten. Such was your presence. #RIP #TariqAziz https://t.co/xMNGO29P7s
— Ali Zafar (@AliZafarsays) June 17, 2020
A big part of my childhood. May you rest in peace sir. Thankyou for entertaining us with your game shows & so much more❤️
“Dekti aankhon or suntay kanon ko#TariqAziz ka salam” 🤲🏻
— MAWRA HOCANE (Hussain) (@MawraHocane) June 17, 2020
View this post on Instagram
Ek darya hai vuss apnay rukh par, Kashtiyaan aar ghalat, waar ghalat, Waqt ulat de na bisaat e hasti, Chaal hum chaltay hain har baar ghalat…” . 🌹⏳♟ . . #Dekhti aankhon, suntay kaanon aapko Tariq Aziz ka Salaam.” . He was one those legendary, iconic figures that left a mark in every Pakistani’s life. What a host, what a legend, what a beautiful human, elevating his guests and audiences alike. Grew up listening to and watching him giving away water coolers and washing machines in #neelamghar with so much respect and humility. Thank you for enriching my childhood, for instilling these values, and for setting a mark like no other. So grateful for you #TariqAziz sir, and for your contributions to Pakistani television. You will definitely live in our hearts for ever. May you rest in eternal peace. 💔 . . #rip #host #icon #legend #pakistanitelevision #ptv #toHimweshallreturn
— manshapasha (@manshapasha) June 17, 2020