She has reportedly been paid £3,00,000
LONDON: 'Graceful', 'beautiful' and 'lovely Indian lady' were the words repeatedly used to describe Shilpa Shetty as she became the first Bollywood actress to enter the now famous portals of the Big Brother house - the mother of all reality shows.
Dressed in a green saree and decked out in full Bollywood glamour, Shilpa braved the cold gusty winds as she walked down the red carpet stopping to wave at the pack of news photographers and a crowd of Big Brother fans who had no idea who she was.
When asked by the anchor Davina McCall what she hoped to get out of her experience from Big Brother, Shilpa replied "I want to clear out the misconception of Indian people. We are modern, intelligent and glamorous. I want all of India to be proud of me".
But many people are wondering if joining the Big Brother house is the best way to showcase India and what is a Bollywood star doing in a reality show which only lures 'has-beens' and 'wannabes' from the British and American celebrity world.
Russell Brand, the compere of the irreverential spin off show Big Brother's Big Mouth articulated the reply that everyone is thinking. "This is her chance to show herself to a western audience".
Shilpa has reportedly been paid £300,000 to live in the fish bowl where cameras watch and telecast live every movement made by the celebrities for just under a month, but Big Brother has not confirmed the amount and it is believed that this year the highest fee paid has been no more than £65,000.
Ten other stars who entered the house with Shilpa on Wednesday night were discarded pop stars, long forgotten actors, a film director and a Wag.
Like Shilpa, the other two members of the motley group whose presence people were surprised by were 52 year-old Jermaine Jackson, elder brother of pop idol Michael Jackson, and a member of the now defunct Jackson Five, and British film director Ken Russell.
"What are these three doing in the house. They don't need the money and are much bigger than the other so-called celebrities there. If I was Shilpa I would shoot my agent for getting me into this without finding out enough about the programme," said Sangita Shah, a viewer of Big Brother and Hindi films.
Big Brother was the first ever reality show — created seven years - cashing in on voyeurism and received a huge following.
Over the years the celebrity status of stars who agree to enter the house has declined, and the raunchy tasks they are expected to perform and the negative publicity that they receive has put off many from joining.
"The only thing I really hope to keep is my self-respect and my dignity," said a worried Shilpa before she entered house.
Bookmakers who are expected to make millions over the next month from betting on the programme have given Shilpa 10/1 chance of winning the programme, which is normally done by a popular vote.