| Shilpa: Rising star
London, Jan. 25: Shilpa Shetty’s “friends” in the Indian film industry, who have been privately briefing British newspapers that the 31-year-old is only a “Bollywood B-lister”, will be burning with jealousy now that her “exclusive story” of life inside Celebrity Big Brother has been pre-sold to a tabloid newspaper for over £100,000 (over Rs 87 lakh).
As Shilpa’s star rises, her tormentor Jade Goody’s falls, though the latter was granted a visa today by the Indian high commission. Jade wants to visit India to convey her personal apology to Shilpa’s parents and to Indians in general for having abused the actress on the reality television show.
It is not known when Jade will undertake the trip. If she wants to apologise to Shilpa’s mother, all Jade has to do is travel from her luxury home in Essex across town, for 57-year-old Sunanda Shetty, who arrived in London on Tuesday night, is firmly ensconced in her hotel room.
The £100,000 fee that Shilpa will earn from relating her story of life inside Big Brother House will be on top of the fee she receives from Channel 4 for agreeing to take part in the show. This is believed to be a lot less than the £357,000 she is reported to have received.
This series of Celebrity Big Brother ends on Sunday when the last person not evicted will be declared the winner — and receives £100,000 prize money.
There will be a double eviction tomorrow night. Although Shilpa is one of five who have been nominated by their fellow housemates, she is expected to survive this latest cull. After that, the final votes will take place on Sunday.
One housemate, Dirk Benedict, 61, who is remembered from his days on The A-Team, an American soap, likened the reality show to “a human jungle” where inhabitants are often tempted to eat one another. It was a perceptive remark.
When he comes out, he may be hurt to find out that he was nominated by none other than Shilpa, the woman with whom he has been flirting for the past three weeks and who has increasingly been flirting with him.
The “Bollywood Babe”, as Shilpa has been called, has revealed a ruthless streak in wanting to get rid of serious competition.
Another American, Jermaine Jackson, 52, once part of the Jackson Five and elder brother of Michael Jackson, is reckoned by experts to have as good a chance of winning as Shilpa.
Her career prospects are certainly on the up. Her colleagues back in Bollywood, who thought she was over the hill, will be further dismayed by the news that when the reality show Cricket Star comes to the UK in summer, Shilpa is likely to be one of the presenters.
Channel 4 said today there was a serious error in the voting arrangements concerning Shilpa. Those who thought they were voting to save Shilpa were, in fact, voting for her eviction.
“Last night, at the end of Celebrity Big Brother, there was an error in the on-screen information about Friday night’s eviction vote in relation to the eviction phone line details for Shilpa,” said a Channel 4 spokesman.
“While the voiceover was correct and stated: ‘To vote to evict Shilpa’, the on-screen text mistakenly read: ‘To vote to save Shilpa’.”
The production company, Endemol, said in a statement: “This was a genuine mistake which was due to human error. We apologise to viewers and feel the best way to rectify it is to cancel the vote so far and re-open the voting again this evening, at the end of tonight’s show.”
We have consulted with our independent adjudicator before making this decision.”
The statement added: “Viewers who voted can have a full refund and any unclaimed monies will be donated to charity. Following this error the profits from Friday night’s re-opened eviction voting will also go to the candidates charities.”