Before leaving for Britain, Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty had been very confident of sticking it out on Channel 4 reality TV show "Celebrity Big Brother", saying she saw "no problems in holding out until the end". She has just won the first round with viewers voting overwhelmingly for her to stay on.
Her rival housemate Jade Goody was evicted with 82 per cent of viewers voting against her for alleged racist behaviour towards Shilpa.
In the show, for which Shilpa is being reportedly paid a whopping Rs 35 million, she has been thrown together with strangers for weeks and months in a London house.
"I'm a very friendly girl. I warm up to people very easily. And I'm also a very brave girl. I can hold on to situations until I get comfortable with it. Since I'd be representing our country on a show that will be watched by millions I wouldn't like to do anything to shame me, my family or India... And that would mean, no backing out of the show for reasons of nervousness or isolation. Really, I see no problems in holding out until the end," Shilpa had said before leaving for Britain.
Far from being nervous or apprehensive Shilpa was extremely hunky-dory about being on the show.
"It's a big, big honour. Unlike some third world countries where we've practically anyone going on the show, only the most famous names are invited on the Big Brother UK - and they almost always go. I'm very excited about being on the show."
What about the lack of privacy?
"No, no," Shilpa had laughed. "I've completely verified all the pros and cons before agreeing to be on the show. You think I'd ever go on a show that would violate my privacy? No way! The loos have no cameras. I've checked on that before saying yes. I believe there're two versions of Big Brother in Britain. One where the camera follows the contestants everywhere, and the other is a more conservative version, designed for family viewing. I'm on the latter."
On why she was invited on the show, Shilpa had her own take. "I believe they carried out an in-depth survey before inviting me. Since about 80 per cent of their viewers are Asian, my presence would be appreciated."
She said she was a family-oriented girl and not in the least afraid of being thrown together with strangers for weeks and months. "Yeah, I'm a family girl. I'm most comfortable in my home with my parents and my sister."
"I want to come back from the show as the winner," Shilpa promised before zipping off.