Television

London rocks to Zee Cine Awards beat

LONDON: It is proving to be the mother of all film awards telecast on TV. Zee Telefilms, with ITC Sunfeast Zee Cine Awards, once again stole the show from all the film awards shows held this year. Scintillating performances by Indian film stars, costumes not seen before, a continuance of the Indo-Pak bonhomie theme that Zee started in Dubai last year, a gag by Sajid Khan and the nominees that had everyone in splits, and deserving awards to Yash Chopra, Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukherji, Shahrukh Khan, Divya Dutta, all made for a wholesome entertaining evening.

 

Bollywood stars turned up at the Excel Arena in Dockland, East London in full strength (Abhishekh and Amitabh Bachchan were the glaring absentees). Our correspondent in London reports that the awards evening literally rocked London. And it was not only Indians who went gaga over Bollywood but also the whole Asian community and pleasantly , even 'Firangs' who were in attendance, further emphasising the fact that Indian Entertainment is going global in the real sense.

While Shah Rukh Khan won the best Actor Award for Veer Zaara, Rani Mukherjee took away the best actress award for her performance in Hum Tum. The first Zee/Yash Johar Producer of the year award went to veteran producer/director Yash Chopra. Abhishek Bachchan won the best Actor in supporting award for Phir Milenge while Divya Dutta won it for Veer-Zaara in the female category. Dharmendra was felicitated with Life Time Achievement Award.

The awards show was maintained at an up-tempo beat by the two main anchors Karan Johar and Juhi Chawla. Reputed Pak stand up Omar Sharif combined his act with the anchoring of some award categories.

But the segment that really brought smiles and roars of laughter to audiences faces was the one by Sajid Khan wherein he conducted a ripoff of India TV's Bollywood sting operation on the nominees by asking them their opinions about the other nominees. It was extremely funny to see nominees first making politically correct statements about their fellow nominees on camera, and then carping about the nominations when they thought the camera was off. If the reactions were spontaneous, well it was a gutsy thing that the nominees agreed to, if they were scripted, then it was an innovative and sporting act.

Zee TV chairman Subhash Chandra's son and Zee Telefilms director Puneet Goenka also spoke on the occasion stating that this was the first of the many activities the network had planned for south Asian diaspora in Europe and the US and that the focus on providing quality entertainment would continue.

 
 
 

Among the Bollywood stars who came and shook their legs and more on stage as acts figured: Zayed Khan and Amrita Arora who danced on the theme London Flavour which was combination of Hindi and English popular dance tracks. Akshay Kumar stole the show by prancing around to rocking Punjabi Bhangra numbers. Aishwarya Rai danced to a collection of AR Rehman's hit numbers while Salman Khan came in to loud cheers when he danced to some of his own film songs.

Shahrukh Khan unveils Zee's new logos

But the person who literally hijacked the entire show was none other that Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan. His enviable popularity is so high in London, that a huge roar went through the 10,000 strong audience every time his face showed up on the huge AV screens. His act was the highlight of the show with the India-Pakistan and Swades theme which was well received by the audience.

The staging of the ITC Sunfeast Zee Cine Awards in London has once again highlighted how crucial a role Bollywood plays in bonding all south Asians living in England, be they Sri Lankan or Indian or Bangladeshi or Nepali or Pakistani. Take for example the case of a Sri Lankan teenage girl who could not understand let alone speak. She waited for hours to get a glimpse of her heartthrobs Salman and Shahrukh Khan. As did thousands of fans both before and after the show. Some fans were however luckier - they managed to get into the bus that was taking the celebrities back to the hotel. Others made it inside the hotel that they were residing in and even got their autographs.

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