Shilpa poised to win, career zooming westwards
By Arpana, IANS
Racist slurs notwithstanding, Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty has never had it so good. She is not only tipped to win "Celebrity Big Brother", as evident from betting ratings for the British reality television show, her languishing career is also poised for a big leap westwards.
"Hollywood film offers have started coming in," Shilpa's publicist Dale Bhagwagar told IANS.
"Apart form the US and Britain, offers are coming from Spain and Singapore too. Also, the Indian film industry suddenly seems to have woken up to the new Shilpa."
When asked about the betting for Shilpa, he said: "She is leading all the betting sites."
"The racist slurs have stirred people's emotion. For us Shilpa is just front-page news but in Britain she is more than news. Shilpa is feelings, emotions and much more. I am expecting nothing less than a win from Shilpa. I hope glory will be hers," said Bhagwagar.
The final voting results will be announced Monday at 2.30 a.m. (India time).
The Indian actress' popularity in Britain can be gauged from the fact that she has escaped eviction for the second time. Pop star Jo O'Meara, one of those who had harassed Shilpa, and actress Cleo Rocos were eliminated in surprise evictions Friday night on the basis of viewer's votes.
For Shilpa, Channel 4's "Celebrity Big Brother" offered an opportunity to shine. She has grabbed it and proved how important she is.
But good things come at an expense. Jazz Barton, who was instrumental in getting this deal with producers Endemol for Shilpa, tried to cash in on the actress' popularity in Britain.
"Once the show went on air, Jazz and Bobby Khan (another key person who helped Shilpa bag the deal) started posing as her agents. Jazz started making deals on Shilpa's behalf, which is illegal because she hasn't signed any contract with her. Jazz started taking money from newspapers for interviews with her (Shilpa) after she comes out.
"I came to know that she has taken a 100,000 pound deal with media houses. I realised that Shilpa can get into legal trouble if Jazz continues to take money from people in this manner. I warned her mother and as a result the first thing she did after reaching London was to announce that Jazz is not Shilpa's manager or agent."
However, Shilpa's mother is keeping ready an ideal team to monitor her daughter's career in the West.
She has roped in Max Clifford of Max Clifford Associates as her publicist in Britain, Carter-Ruck, leading law firm of the country, to look after legal matters, Farhat Hussain of Cine Entertainment Promoters as her agent and Tasleem Begani as the manager.
The controversy over Jade Goody's 'racist' remarks had stirred people's sympathy for the actress as they saw her being bullied by Goody and her mother. Not only that, other housemates O'Meara and Rocos also passed snide comments behind her back.
Though they apologised for their behaviour, the audience' empathy had swung for the Indian actress in the show which many termed as a fight between "a beauty and the beasts".