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Shilpa Shetty wins Big Brother
H S Rao

London, January 29
Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty today emerged the winner on Celebrity Big Brother, bagging the top prize money of £ 100,000 (nearly Rs 85 lakh), riding on sympathy from UK viewers over racial taunts she suffered from fellow contestants.

Shilpa was elected the winner last night by 63 per cent of voters, pipping Michael Jackson’s singer brother Jermaine.

With this victory, Shilpa would earn several bounties, besides £ 350,000 pounds (nearly Rs 3 crore) paid to her by the producers to participate in the show.

She has been offered a Hollywood film by Fox pictures, a book deal, endorsements for clothes, cosmetics and jewellery, a TV documentary, the position of host of a cricket reality show and an awards ceremony, and an exclusive interview with The Sun tabloid fetching her £ 100,000.

The 31-year-old actress won the public’s affection during an extraordinary four weeks in which she was the victim of bullying by fellow housemates Jade Goody, Jo O’Meara and Danielle Lloyd.

She was crowned the winner after finalists Jermaine Jackson, Dirk Benedict, Ian H. Watkins, Danielle Lloyd and Jack Tweed were all evicted during the show’s grand finale last night.

A show spokesman said Jack Tweed received 3.2 per cent of the votes cast, Danielle Lloyd got 3.3 per cent and Ian Watkins received 5.3 per cent.

Screaming with surprise, Shilpa burst into tears as Davina McCall, the host of the show, announced the news.

“Chicken curry rules! Thank you so much!” she yelled as she was led out of the house by Davina.

“I just want to thank the people of Great Britain for giving me the opportunity of making my country proud,” Shilpa said.

“I don’t want to sound cliched but it’s truly been quite a roller-coaster... the highs, the lows, and each one has taught me so much,” Shilpa said. She initially played down the rows, saying her biggest shock in the house was “to cook”.

Shilpa looked shocked when Davina told her the fighting had caused a furore. But then she said: “I kind of had an inkling but I’d love to hear about some news”. She then watched a footage from the house, including Jade’s diary room entries. But in a short speech, she said she didn’t want Jade to be branded a racist.

“Things happen, people make mistakes and we all learn from them,” Shilpa said.

“But I can say one thing for sure, Jade didn’t mean to be racist. She isn’t a racist. I really don’t want to leave England putting anyone in trouble. This country has given me so much”. Her response drew cheers and clapping from the studio audience.

Asked what it would take for US television star Dirk Benedict to win her over, she said: “He would need to be at least 28 years younger and start eating chicken curry”. Shilpa said her favourite experiences in the house were singing with the “Jackson 5” and the assault course task.

“Going into the slush, it was horrid,” she said.

Davina asked her finally to sum up her experience in three words, to which she replied: “Incredible, overwhelming and...” and then following an interjection from the audience, added “chicken curry rules”. — PTI

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