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Celebrity brigade comes calling

world Updated: Apr 10, 2011 23:21 IST

Hindustan Times
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Take a celebrity, add a cause, include a developing nation—mix them properly. Voila! You have a sure-shot recipe for heightened media coverage. We saw it in India and Nepal too is witnessing the same.

The year started on a high note with Bryan Adams performing in Kathmandu in February. Though no cause was associated, this first performance by a major western singer was hailed as a big deal.

Last week, Demi Guynes Kutcher aka Demi Moore paid Nepal a visit. During her stay, the Hollywood celebrity visited the Nepal-India border and toured Buddha's birthplace Lumbini.

As part of a CNN documentary on human trafficking and Anuradha Koirala, who's credited with saving nearly 12,000 Nepali girls from sex slavery in India, Moore made the right noises and left.

While Moore hogged the front pages, another Hollywood celeb—Leonardo DiCaprio paid a secret visit to Bardiya National Park in western Nepal last year as part of a WWF campaign to save tigers.

Details of the Titanic star's trip surfaced after he left the country when pictures of him setting a camera trap in the national park appeared in newspapers. DiCaprio committed US $ 1 million for WWF's campaign.

In September 2009, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, a goodwill ambassador for United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was here appealing to all who cared to end violence against women in Nepal.

But the trip gained more publicity due to the sari-clad blonde beauty's public peck on the cheeks of the then prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal.

Celebrities from neighbouring India are also heading to the Himalayan nation. Kailash Kher will be welcoming the Nepali New Year later this week with his blend of Sufi and Bollywood songs.

Shahrukh Khan has also announced his plan to visit as part of a golf tournament organized by a watch brand he endorses.

As it waits for political celebrities to perform the tasks of drafting the new constitution and completing the peace process, 'acts' by the foreign celebrity brigade is keeping Nepal 'entertained'.