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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Shilpa Shetty fever grips London

After the Big Brother row, the Bollywood actress has turned into a global mascot. Tanuj Garg reports from London.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2007 14:03 IST
Tanuj Garg
Tanuj Garg

In a belated attempt at reconciliation, representatives of Jade Goody and Danielle Lloyd are busy issuing statements that their clients are not racist. No dice. The two foul-mouthed women have emerged as Britain’s most hated citizens (the Hertfordshire Police is actually investigating death threats against them ) and their careers are on the skids.

The Perfume Shop has decided to withdraw Goody’s bestselling perfume, Shh... The former Miss Great Britain Lloyd has been dumped from a lucrative modelling contract, believed to be worth six figures.

‘Race’ no more:
Channel 4 is busy laughing at the zooming viewership figures and denying allegations of racism by calling it a “cultural clash.” The programme’s owners, Endemol, are recalculating upwards the revenues they expect when they sell the Big Brother series to Indian broadcasters.

Shilpa Shetty might want to get her financial advisors to begin planning all the tax that she will be paying for a plum career in the UK.

Shilpa Shetty's career has sky-rocketed after Big Brother.


At the time of writing, I was told that The Times, London will be giving out complimentary DVDs of

Phir Milenge

to every reader. Publicists and socialites have Shilpa Shetty on the guest list for their A-list soirees.

Glossies and sensational tabloids are set for a battle on who will pay her a fortune to appear on their cover to dish the dirt. All of this, presumably, is a loss for Kareena Kapoor and Malaika Arora Khan, who I am told, were among the others being considered for

Big Brother


Surely, Shilpa Shetty is laughing her way into people’s hearts…and to the bank! “She’s the new national hero,” grins Aditi Khanna, senior entertainment writer, Eastern Eye UK: “And we’re proud of her. She’s maintained her dignity and proven herself as a brilliant ambassador for India and its film industry.”

The silver lining:
“It’s taken a Bollywood actress to come here and get people talking,” remarks Sarbjit Lotay, film head of the BBC Asian Network. “An otherwise intellectualised and semantic issue like racism has found a live case in point.” She adds, “Ironically, even non-Asians are feeling humiliated and standing up against the atrocity.”

Actorspeak Rahul Bose:
‘We are a racist country too’
Big Brother works on voyeurism. It is natural in a pressure situation for anyone to get abusive. So, one has to be tolerant. But racism should never be tolerated.
I’ve been subjected to racism when I was in Australia. No one would sit beside me in a bus unless it was the last seat available! But we are equally racist. AfroAmericans are thrown out of clubs in Mumbai. A guy from Bihar is looked down upon.
Mind you, this is also a coun try where the sales of fairness creams outsell every other beauty product. So how tolerant are we really?

Shrink thinkAnjali Chhabria psychiatrist
‘It’s all about money’
It’s about winning and the one who wins is someone who can play with the sentiments of the audience. And Shilpa is doing that very well. By provoking the other to react, she comes across as a ‘poor little thing’ invoking sympathy. You might think she’s manipulative or smart.

At the end of it all there’s money to win so people will play mind games. The better your game, the better the chance of winning.

First Published: Jan 23, 2007 17:24 IST

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