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Shilpa to speak on racism in London

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
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View Shilpa Shetty - Picture GalleryAfter winning British reality TV show 'Celebrity Big Brother', Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty has really hit the bull's eye. She's now all set to speak on racial discrimination at the Commonwealth Day in London March 12.

'Yes, I'll speak at the Commonwealth Day. Only four people will be giving a speech ... And I'm one of them. It's freaking me out. This year the theme is 'Respecting Differences and Promoting Understanding'. It is about racism. And it's an issue that I'm now associated with. I better deliver. I'll be sharing the platform with world leaders and the Queen,' Shilpa told IANS.

She has hired an expert to help her write the speech.

'It has to be five minutes of no beating around the bush. I feel extremely nervous but also very honoured to be representing my country at such a prestigious event.'

Back home for a fortnight, Shilpa has no time for her family. 'I had a calendar launch. Then I had to attend the Filmfare awards.'

Shilpa's wardrobe designers are going ballistic trying to keep up with their star-client's social schedules.

'Luckily I've two dear designer friends and they keep me well dressed wherever I go after 'Big Brother'. Neeta Lulla had done my dress for the event at the House of Commons, and Tarun Tahiliani designed my clothes for 'Big Brother'!

'Neeta and Tarun are being driven up the wall by my demands. I'm sure they dread my midnight calls from London, asking for a dress overnight. They must be fed up of couriering me clothes to London.'

Of course, once in a while Shilpa is persuaded to wear international designers.

'For an occasion in London, Vivien Westwood dressed me from head to toe. Otherwise, it's Neeta and Tarun all the way for me.'

Shilpa cracks up. 'The funny thing is, I went to London with two bags and came back with seven in just 50 days.'

Thanks to Shilpa, the image of the Bollywood heroine abroad has changed.

'That's true,' she conceded. 'Earlier they were seen as voluptuous. Now they look at me and wonder at how thin I am and how clued in I am to global fashion trends. I can discuss Armani as well as Tarun and Neeta.'



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