London: Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty came to a rousing reception at Leicester Square here for the premiere of her first film after the triumph in ‘Celebrity Big Brother’, which catapulted her to international fame, and embraced her reality show rival Danielle Lloyd.
Lloyd, 23, was vilified after she ganged up against Shilpa with Jade Goody and Jo O’Meara on the Channel 4 show in which the Indian actress came out a winner after suffering racist abuse that triggered widespread outrage.
Shilpa wore a pink sari to the central London premiere of ‘Life In A...Metro’ last night, while Lloyd opted for a black dress.
Lloyd said, “Shilpa invited me here. I’ve come to support her. It’s my first Bollywood movie and I’m really excited.”
The model and former Miss England said fans outside had given her a warm reception, despite her reputation taking a knock after she appeared on Big Brother.
Shilpa admitted that the race row helped her career: “It made me a stronger person, and a more famous person of course.”
She told newsmen that she is proud that her film ‘Life In A...Metro’ was making its debut in London’s Leicester Square.
“This is the first-ever Leicester Square premiere for an Indian movie. It’s something that I once dreamed of but never imagined would happen.”
The film features a collection of tales about life and relationships in Mumbai and Shilpa said the audiences are ready and looking for something different and something interesting.
Asked whether the masses in India would welcome the film which meanders round the theme of extra-marital relations, Director Anurag Basu, who also wrote the script for the movie, said, “India is changing fast and the censor board has given it an ‘A´ certificate.”
Shilpa Shetty said “the audience are looking for something different and interesting.”
She claimed that the film is extremely realistic.
Shilpa said in the next couple of months she would be launching her own perfume “S square by Shilpa Shetty”.
She is also planning to open a chain of Indian curry houses in Britain.
The flagship restaurant will be at central London, her agent Farhath Hussain said.
The curry chain will be called “Shilpa Shetty Dining Hall” and will have branches across the country.
As regards acting in a musical, she said it was still in the initial stages.
Stating that she believed in “destiny”, Shilpa said she might opt for her own house in London. She is looking to buy a house in an expensive north London neighbourhood.
Kiss row: Shilpa fails to appear in court
Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and five TV news channel owners on 8 May failed to appear in a court at Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) in connection with the controversy surrounding her kiss with Hollywood star Richard Gere at a public event.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Beena Chaudhry took note of the fact that the summons were not received by the respondents and deferred the hearing till May 21.