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Shilpa's date with Tony Blair

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By: Upala KBR, Mid Day
Monday, February 05, 2007
Who would have thought that Shilpa Shetty would be having lunch with British Prime Minister Tony Blair one day, and meet with the Queen of England on another? That's what happened after Big Brother turned Shetty into a bigger star overnight.

Top of the mind

Says Ram Mirchandani of UTV, "Shilpa called us from the UK last Friday to say she was coming back to India on February 15. She is scheduled to resume shooting for Anurag Basu's Metro then (produced by UTV).

She's meeting Prime Minister Tony Blair for lunch at the House of Commons on February 7, then Queen Elizabeth on the 12th and returning to India after that. Shilpa told us that she's very excited to have become a brand ambassador for India.

Metro will be her first release after the Big Brother hype, and we are excited about the film's prospects now. The film has just six days worth of work left."

Ram insists that international stardom hasn't changed Shilpa. "She was ecstatic after having won Big Brother. Shilpa is very sweet, grounded and great fun on the sets.

So we were wondering if she's changed at all; are we going to shoot with the same Shilpa with whom we were backslapping on the sets or a more reserved, worldly-wise Shilpa?

But she spent 40 minutes chatting with Anurag and me and she hasn't changed at all. I am very touched that in the midst of all the global hype, Shilpa showed that Metro is a top-of-the-mind project for her."

Mirchandani adds that the British channel Sky TV will be coming to India to interview them on Metro and Shetty.

"Shilpa said she had spoken to Sky TV and they were sending a crew to India to interview Ronnie (Screwvala), me and Anurag Basu on her next film. After she called us we were so happy that we opened a bottle of Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry and celebrated."

Brand Shilpa

Ram informs that Shilpa's win has opened up sponsorships for Metro in the UK market. He says, "Shilpa has become a brand there and companies want to be associated with her and Metro. We will be having a London premiere of Metro when we release the film in March."

Metro is about "the trials and tribulations of city life, competition in today's business arena and relationships crumbling under that stress. It's very earthy and contemporary and deals with four stories - Shilpa and Shiny Ahuja, Sharman Joshi and Kangana Ranaut, Irrfan Khan and Konkona Sen Sharma and Dharamendra and Nafisa Ali."

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