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Shah Rukh Khan and the Ramez Galal prank: SRK’s outburst was staged

Actor Shah Rukh Khan’s team says that he knew all about Egyptian comedian Ramez Galal’s prank, which sent his car tumbling into a quicksand in the deserts outside Dubai.

bollywood Updated: Jun 05, 2017 17:13 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Shah Rukh Khan,Ramez Galal,Pooja Dadlani
Reports claim that actor Shah Rukh Khan was paid Rs 2 crore to appear on Ramez Galal’s prank show.(Getty Images for DIFF)

The whole deal of Shah Rukh Khan’s car falling into a quicksand in the deserts outside Dubai and then the actor being menaced by a Komodo dragon — it’s all there in a two-minute video that has gone viral — was a prank in which the star himself participated, we have learnt.

The prank was staged by Ramez Galal, the well-known Egyptian comedian and the host of Ramez Underground, an Arabic TV show. Ramez scares the wits out of celebrities, films them in that situation, and then airs that clip — television personality Paris Hilton screamed her head off when she was put on a plane and then was told that her plane would crash; after that clip was aired, she sued Ramez.

The Shah Rukh Khan video sent fans and social media users into a tizzy. In it, Shah Rukh and a woman are semi-buried in a quicksand while a fearsome Komodo dragon crawls towards them. The woman is hysterical, while Shah Rukh is a little more composed. They have nothing with which to defend themselves except sand.

Of course, they are rescued and the prank is revealed. The actor then loses his cool for being put through this. He shouts at Ramez Galal and nearly punches him.

Most viewers were shocked to see Shah Rukh so furious, almost violent, upon realising that he had fallen for the prank. However, many pointed out that the whole business, including Shah Rukh’s anger, was staged. Otherwise, how could Shah Rukh have kept so calm after falling into a quicksand? (The Paris Hilton episode had also apparently been staged, right down to the lawsuit.)

Yes, it was staged and SRK was aware and was acting as if he was angry.

According to the news publication Al-Alam, a source revealed that Khan was paid $400,000 (approx Rs 2 crore) to appear on the show. Ramez later posted a selfie with SRK on Twitter, adding fuel to the reports that it was staged. However, it’s hard to say if the selfie was taken before or after the prank.

When we contacted Shah Rukh’s team, his manager Pooja Dadlani confirmed, “Yes, it was staged and Shah Rukh Khan was aware and was acting as if he was angry.” She gave no confirmation on whether the actor was paid to be on the show.

All the action takes place in the deserts near Dubai, where Shah Rukh was supposed to be interviewed by TV presenter Neshan. They head out for a desert safari, when the driver loses control of the vehicle. Shah Rukh and Neshan land in the quicksand. While they’re all drowning, Shah Rukh tries his best to stay calm and save the others. Then this giant reptile begins crawling towards them — it later turns out to be Ramez in costume. As soon as Ramez reveals that it’s all a prank, Shah Rukh starts shouting, “This is nonsense. You got me all the way from India to do this sh*t?”

Ramez keeps apologising to the actor, but an angry Shah Rukh pushes him to the ground. Raising his fist at Ramez, Shah Rukh says, “You want me to make this funnier?” Trying to seek forgivingness, Ramez even sings the song Marjani Marjani from Shah Rukh’s film Billu.

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First Published: Jun 05, 2017 17:02 IST