Before appearing in Big Brother, Shilpa Shetty was a B-grade actress making small ripples in the ponds of Bollywood. After Big Brother, this thirty one year old actress is making waves every where. The racial abuse she has undergone turned her into a star overnight.
Almost two weeks after incidents of allegedly racist bullying of Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother led to an international furore, events inside the reality TV studio may have slumped into soporific tedium. But outside the frenzy shows little sign of abating.
Tomorrow evening , the Channel 4 series will stagger to its close, with Shetty favourite to be voted its winner.
While Jade Goody, her chief tormentor, fights to save her career, and Channel 4's beleaguered executives struggle to salvage their battered reputations over their handling of the controversy, Shetty will emerge to a blizzard of demands for her story and offers of lucrative endorsements.
But if Shetty is unlikely to be prepared for her new-found popularity, she will also, when she steps from the house, find herself at the centre of a uniquely British media storm that has as much to do with tabloid newspaper and PR rivalries as it does with the career of a pleasant young Indian woman. Certainly, in the words of agent Jazz Barton, who negotiated her participation in the show, Shetty is "hot stuff". Ms Barton said that she had been receiving 45 telephone calls an hour since the controversy began, half of them offers of work.
Although Big Boss has made Shilpa Shetty very popular, it would not uplift her position as actress in Bollywood. She has already been chosen to be the next bond girl. She is now getting offers to do advertisements for UK companies. Her career as an actress may not be very successful but she could be a very successful model in