Simone Singh wows everyone at the iEmmys

NEW YORK: It was an initiative to project an Indian television actor internationally. founder and CEO Anil Wanvari's exercise to have Indian TV actor Simone Singh present an award at The 31st Annual International Emmy Awards in New York on 24 November was a resounding success.Wanvari, who returned late last night, says Simone charmed her way into the hearts of more than 1,000 television professionals and artistes from more than 75 countries as she gave away the Popular Arts Award.

Points out International Emmy executive director Georges Leclere, "Simone was the star of the evening. She was fabulous. We were delighted to have had her as a presenter."

"Fantastic," adds Paul Zilk, another member of the board.

"The way she spoke, it appeared so natural. It came from the heart," exclaims Sesame Workshop chief operating officer H. Melvin Ming.

Dressed in an Arjun Khanna ensemble, which made her look like a princess, the diminutive Simone went on stage to give away the second last award at the function and was billed as the television sensation from Bollywood, India. This is the very first time in Indian television history that an Indian actor presented an award at the Emmys.

Driven in her Maserati, along with Wanvari, she arrived at the venue of The International Emmy Awards at the Hilton Hotel to a red carpet welcome on 54th Street, Manhattan. The paparazzi swarmed all over her, pleading and cajoling her to look their way. Singh complied without batting an eyelid. She was also interviewed by the hit American show Entertainment Tonight.

The gala event, in which the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (IATAS) announced this year's winners, was hosted by veteran television broadcaster Bob Costas (HBO's On The Record with Bob Costas). Popular TV celebs and acclaimed actors like Sarah Jessica Parker, Joanna Lumley, Jesse L. Martin, Lorraine Bracco, Susie Castillo, Miss USA, Carson Kresslev and Thom Filicia were co-presenters with Simone Singh.

Fred Cohen, President, International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said at the occasion, "The mission of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is to celebrate the diversity of content that the global television community provides to viewers around the world. In that regard, it is especially pleasing to see that quality programming from various nations were honoured this evening."

True to Cohen's word, the highlight of the evening proved to be Danish Broadcasting Corporation's Nikolaj and Julie, which won for the second year in a row in the Drama series category. Also, programmes from Germany were awarded in two categories. Colonia Media Filmproduktion's Mein Vater (Coming Home) bagged the TV Movies/Mini-series while Starcrest Media's Das Leben Geht Weiter (Life Goes On) took the Documentary category.

The year Directorate Emmy Award was presented to Director General of BBC, Greg Dyke. Upon receiving the award, Dyke said that he was honoured to receive this prestigious award and thanked the people who work for BBC in Britain and across the world for their creativity, originality and the sheer hard work they put in everyday to enable the BBC to produce and broadcast high quality programmes.

The Founders Emmy Award, conferred upon individuals and organizations whose creative accomplishments contribute to the quality of global television production, was presented to HBO. Past recipients include Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman and CEO, Sony Corporation of America, John Hendricks, Founder, CEO and Chairman of Discovery Communications, Inc.; Hisashi Hieda; Fuji Television, Robert Halmi, Hallmark; Don Hewitt, Executive Producer of 60 Minutes, Jim Henson; and Bill Cosby.

A script reading of Upstream, written by Jo Kasch, winner of the Sir Peter Ustinov Scriptwriting Award for 2003 by International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, held on the day before and a silent auction held during the cocktail reception on the awards night were the other highlights of the event.

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