Actor Disha Vakani, who played the character of Dayaben on popular TV show Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, hasn’t returned to the sets since September 2017. Speculations have been rife that she is being replaced on the show. Now, the producer of the hit comedy show, Asit Kumar Modi, has spoken out on the matter. In his latest interview with a daily, he has revealed that it’s unfortunate but the team has started looking out for the options and the auditions have begun.

He was quoted by Bombay Times saying, “I will have to start looking for a new Dayaben. No one is bigger than the show. Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah will go on with a new face because the family is incomplete without Dayaben.”

The producer went on to take the example of other working women in the country and said that they can’t be ‘waiting forever’. He said, “So many working women in the country get pregnant, go on a maternity break, have babies and resume their jobs. Today, women continue to work even after having babies. We have given Disha leave, but we cannot wait forever. Having said that, replacing an actress is not an overnight process. The track has to be planned months in advance. Right now, we have started the initial process of auditioning for the character. We are still not sure what will happen in the future, but I would like to reiterate that the show must go on.”

Adding that they have extended their cooperation to all their actors including Disha, Asit concluded, “We have been very cooperative from the beginning. Since her daughter’s birth, we have been waiting patiently, giving her space as a new mother. But eventually, a show has to go on.”

Guess that’s it then, no more old Dayaben on the show!