It may have been the biggest hoax in recent times, but Poonam Pandey is all smiles. The 20-year-old model, who vowed to strip if India won the World Cup but later turned it into a no-show, is now back in the spotlight with a reality show.
Poonam’s promised bare-it-all act sent ripples across the country, making her a household name overnight. Now, as one of the 13 contestants on Season Four of the Akshay Kumar hosted Fear Factor-Khatron Ke Khiladi, the leggy model is all set to make her television debut. The buzz is that the Mumbai-based model is being paid a whooping Rs 50 lakh to participate in the adventure-based reality show.
Ask her if her publicity stunt was calculated to yield her celebrity status and Poonam snaps back, “I was already famous through Gladrags and Kingfisher. I don’t need such means to be famous,” adding, “I even wrote a letter to the BCCI asking for permission to strip, but it was denied.”
While she was deprived of her streaking act, the model gave a teaser at a recent press conference announcing the contestants on the upcoming season of Khatron Ke Khiladi. Poonam was seen on the ramp unzipping her jacket to reveal a black bikini top and posing for shutterbugs with much ease. “What do I say? I am full of surprises,” she said.
Poonam, who quit college to pursue her career in modelling, has recently shifted base from her parent’s house in Malad to Oshiwara. Ask her what she feels about being the youngest contestant on the show, and she replies, “I may not be as experienced and mature as the others but I definitely have the courage to perform. After all the controversies I was surrounded in recently, I think I can handle this one”. The show will go on floors on April 20 in Cape Town.