Monday, January 29, 2007

Shilpa Shetty winner of the reality show Big Brother

After being pronounced winner of the British reality show Big Brother, Shilpa Shetty’s walking away with 1,00,000 pounds and plush assignments… Hyderabad Times celebrates her victory

FROM an unrecognisable Bollywood celebrity in the UK to winning one of the greatest reality shows, with a racist controversy in between, Shilpa Shetty has certainly come a long way in the 26 days between January 4 till Sunday last. As the debate on whether or not it was a rigged victory continues, she’s certainly struck gold. And we are also talking of a sure leap from Bollywood to Hollywood, if speculations are to be believed. But first a quick recap.

Enter Shilpa Shetty

On day one, Shilpa became the first ever Indian to be a part of Big Brother, a reality show which was started seven years ago in Britain, cashing in on voyeurism and receiving huge following over the years. “The only thing I really hope to keep is my self-respect and dignity,” said a tense Shilpa before she entered house.

Trouble brewing

But it was no bed of roses for the Indian actress, who was subjected to alleged racist comments with some co-participants abusing her Indian origin. Shilpa held fort in spite of such ‘humiliation.’ Her family was enraged at the discriminating attitude, but called it “the kind of reality she needs.”

Racing ahead

While she was unaware of the proportions that the racism controversy acquired, her popularity index was growing. Bookmakers had speculated that even if she didn’t win, her stakes in the UK are extremely high with her former agent, Jazz Barton, claiming that she has “been receiving 45 calls an hour since the racism controversy began.”

Win-win situation

Her first social engagement after the winning will be a power dinner with the members of the House of Commons on February 4. London head of an Indian production house, Tanuj Garg says, “It has certainly given Shilpa strong international prospects.” And while she is standing on the brink of international stardom, she has chosen to forgive and forget the controversial issues.

Immediate assets

• A film with one of the most prestigious Hollywood production houses

• * 1,00,000 pounds (for an exclusive interview with a tabloid, Sun)

• Endorsement deals for clothes, jewellry and cosmetics

• A book on her

• A television documentary on her

• A deal to host an Indian cricket show

• An opportunity to host one of the biggest Asian film awards show

Long-term gain

• Opportunities in several Hollywood and British films. (Some speculate Shilpa’s popularity to rise beyond that of Aishwarya Rai’s, in international cinema)

• She’ll turn a hot property in Bollywood too. “Producers are thinking of roping her in, since they know that her popularity after the show will earn more revenue in Britain,” says Arshad Warsi, host of the Indian version of the same reality show

• Shilpa’s win will also translate into many offers from crossover films

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