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Anorak | Shhhh! – Shilpa Shetty Jade Goody & Victoria Beckham’s Big Fat Zero

Shhhh! – Shilpa Shetty Jade Goody & Victoria Beckham’s Big Fat Zero

by | 2nd, February 2007

SHHHH!

ON Monday we listened as millions and more Britishers tried to pronounce the name Shilpa Shetty, the Big Brother Bollywood babe.

And it is important that you try to say it right. How you say Shilpa may reveal your inner Jade Goody. Say it right and save the country; say it wrong and be sent to India.

“Shilpa’s changed the UK,” said the Sun’s front page. “Shilpa Shetty’s performance on Celebrity Big Brother has been hailed as a turning point in defeating racism,” it went on.

“The stunning Bollywood star beat her tormentors Jade Goody and Jo O’Meara to a place in the final.” The Mail saw “a vote for tolerance”.

But it wasn’t. It was a vote for Shilpa. And – we would be the first to apologise if wrong – you do not pronounce Shilpa “Tolerance”. What is more, you do not pronounce Shilpa “Princess”, “Poppadom” or “F**kawallah”.

In time, we may come to call her “Shil”, “Shilly” or, should she walk in the footsteps of Danielle Lloyd and move into footballers, “The Shilster”.

But, for now she is Shilpa. And it will be Shilpa for a while yet. So famous is the Celebrity Big Brother winner that she now operates under one name. This is a privilege afforded to only the few, and we think of Jade (Goody), Tony (Blair) and Kermit (The Frog).

And on Tuesday, Shilpa was in conversation with the Mirror. This was “SHILPA: MY STORY”. Shilpa was shocked as she saw the footage of her time in the Big Brother house. Said she: “I’d no idea it was so bad.”

And: “I didn’t know all that had gone on. They are so mean. Why didn’t someone stop them? It hurts me deeply. Look at me…I’m shaking.”

We looked at six pictures of Shilpa looking shocked and disgusted at what she called the “incessant” attack.

Shilpa bit down hard on her lip. Perhaps Jade was jealous, offers Shilpa by way of an analysis. “Jo is perhaps driven by jealousy because she has self-esteem issue,” offers Shilpa. “Danielle, well, she is just more stupid than racist.”

Shilpa had seen enough. “I kept my dignity,” says she. But please, I don’t want to see those tapes ever again.”

But it will not go away. It might never go away. We looked abroad for other news, anything to give Shilpa a background story, to place it all in some kind of context.

On Wednesday, we saw Victoria Beckham. And we read the Sun’s headline: “POSH bans size zero models.”

The good news is that the Americans do get irony. There is every chance that in the land over there, where Victoria Beckham is to make her base, eyebrows are raised and smirks smirked.

And why has Her Poshness banned “ultra-thin” models from promoting her fashion label? Is there a fear that she will be upstaged, made to look bigger?

Victoria is the woman nicknamed “Skeleton Spice”, as the Sun reminded us. This is Vicky who required a pair of 23-inch David Bitton jeans – “which is the same size Gap use for a seven year old.” And, no, not a typically obese British seven year old. A thin one.

So why the bigger models, Posh? A source explained: “Victoria wants to give out a positive image that you don’t have to be ultra skinny to look good.”

Indeed, you do not. You don’t have to be but in the world Vicky inhabits it helps.

But Shilpa is not too skinny. Shilpa has grace. Shilpa does not conform. And on Thursday, we returned to Shilpa and saw the Sun’s front-page headline: “SHILPA ‘called a Paki’ on Big Brother.”

News was that an informant within the greater Big Brother alliance had claimed one use of the word featured in a song. The lyrics run: “This house used to be happy, until that f**king –.”
As the Sun said on its front page, the “dashes are believed to mean the word Paki”.

But who sang such a thing? Looking over the Big Brother agonists, we see musicians aplenty.

Was it Leo Sayer (Thunder In My Heart: “A man where it comes from I just don’t know/ oh no, oh no”)?

Was it Jermaine Jackson (“Some things Are Private: “I’m gonna let you see/ All of my faces/ All the soft places”)?

What about Preparation H from Steps (5-6-7-8: “Foot kickin’ – finger clickin’, leather slapping – hand clappin’/ hip bumpin’ – music thumpin’ – knee hitchin’ – heel and toe/ floor scuffin’ – leg shufflin’ – big grinnin’ – body spinnin’/ rompin’ stompin’ – pumpin’ jumpin’ – slidin’ glidin’ – here we go”)?

Or what about Jo O’Meara from SS Club 7 (The Colour Of Blue: “The colour of blue/ Reminds me of you/ I never see grey, green, black/ You’re true”)?

It continues to be a puzzler. And the search for the singer is made no less difficult when you realise that many who enter reality TV shows do so with an eye to scoring recording contracts and zooming up the hit parade.

And the story does not end here. The Sun sees a note on which a Big Brother executive has penned: “Some dodgy clips DO exist. We are f***ed.”

To go with the aforesaid song, which the Sun mentioned one more time with feeling, the paper heard tell of a contestant calling Shilpa a “f***ing Paki”.

So who dunnit? The police want to know. And on Friday the questioning began. Big Brother bully Danielle Lloyd went first.

Danielle was said to have received death threats. Big Brother, the colossus that bestrode the world, has not been good for Danielle.

But what was this? Danielle had something to say. “I agreed to go on the show, but I didn’t agree to be the victim of hatred because of the editing.”

This is the twist. 2+2 = 5. The persecutor becomes the victim. And she was not alone. Jo O’Meara, formerly of the rebranded groups SS club 7, issued a 900-word statement.

“I am genuinely sorry,” said Jo. She feels “like a rabbit caught in the headlights”. “I am totally shattered and scare to go home,” she tells us.

And Jade Goody. What of her? She plans to go to India, to apologise to the people. She will save her career. She will be made whole again.

And Shilpa? Well, Shilpa’s a wiser woman. She’s on the cover of the Star dressed in a black bra and tight jeans. Shilpa may not be all that foreign and exotic after all…



Posted: 2nd, February 2007 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink