Shilpa Shetty has denied reports that she has been booted out from the second run of her successful West End musical, Miss Bollywood.
According to a report published in a newspaper, the show’s promoter Farhath Hussain, who organises Bollywood shows all over Britain, was in talks with Bipasha Basu, Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutta to get into Shilpa’s shoes for the second innings over price differences.
When contacted, Shilpa refused to comment on Hussain, but said: “The musical has been a wonderful experience. I’ve been there, seen it and done it. I would love to do it again, but when I have the time and dates.” Her publicist Dale Bhagwagar termed the talk about another actress stepping into Shilpa’s shoes as mere speculation.
“Shilpa is to Miss Bollywood what Angelina Jolie is to Lara Croft. Moreover, licence holders of the musical are Harris International in Dubai and so there is no question of anyone else booting her out,” he said.
“There are no immediate plans for a second run only because Shilpa is going to be busy with announced and unannounced films, endorsements and other assignments chalked out till mid-2009,” he added.
MS Ajmal of Harris International said: “After our run in Germany, Britain and Holland, offers are constantly pouring in from Australia and the US for putting up shows of the musical. Ever since Big Brother and Richard Gere happened to her, Shilpa is in great demand in all these countries and is looked upon as the face of contemporary Bollywood. But we haven't zeroed in on plans for a second innings yet.”
Bhagwagar also denied that Shilpa escalated her price after Miss Bollywood became a roaring success, putting Hussain in a quandary. “Shilpa is an extremely professional person and not the kind to trouble anyone. She’s a rich girl and doesn't run after money. She's been lucky to get what she deserves,” Bhagwagar said.
“In the last few months, while we witnessed a metamorphosis in Brand Shilpa from an actress to diva, she has been offered astronomical amounts for certain film projects in Bollywood too. But she is choosing only those which will give her complete creative satisfaction,” he added.