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With Big Ben looming in the background, Shilpa waves to fans in Westminster Square. The actress, who faced antagonism from housemates while appearing on Celebrity Big Brother, received a warm welcome from Britain's political leaders
Photo: © Getty Images
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MP Keith Vaz acted as the actress' guide for the afternoon. He wasn't the only high-profile politician keen to meet the Bollywood star, though
Photo: © Getty Images

SHILPA CASTS A SPELL ON WESTMINSTER

8 FEBRUARY 2007

Having been applauded for the way in which she handled antagonism in the Big Brother house, Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty paid a visit to another house equally renowned for its vocal conflicts - and received a much friendlier welcome.

The UK's leading politicians were positively falling over each other to greet the 31-year-old beauty when she stopped by the House Of Commons on Wednesday. And although the men and women who make up Britain's Parliament aren't easily distracted from affairs of state, the pressing business of running the country was put on hold when Shilpa made her entrance.

Leader of the House Jack Straw was just one of those to have his picture taken with the Indian actress, while Labour Chairperson Hazel Blears appeared equally thrilled by her encounter with the reality TV star. Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell was also enthusiastic, exclaiming "you look so glamorous!" when she came face to face with the celebrity guest, who was characteristically stunning in a cream-coloured sari and matching embroidered coat.

Given her experiences inside the Big Brother house, where she endured what has been described as racist bullying, the performer was no doubt happy to take a back seat for Prime Minister's Question Time.

It would seem that Tony Blair, who is currently negotiating some of the stormiest waters of his political career, made quite an impression on the glamorous guest, though. "He was very sweet and kind," said Shilpa after meeting the Labour leader. "He said he was very sad to see what I had to go through and in turn I thanked him personally for the support he showed me and my country."


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