LAHORE: Malik may be a household name thanks to her skills as a satirist and cricketer Mohammad Asif, but she’s set to be locked into a house of her own. She has signed a contract to appear on the fourth season of the Indian reality television show “Big Boss”.
A source close to the actor confirmed to The Express Tribune that she has signed the contract. Malik left for Mumbai on Monday. The launching ceremony of the reality show will be held on October 2 and Veena Malik is likely to do a dance performance on the same day, the source said.
Several names have appeared in the Indian press of likely contestants. However, another source confirmed to The Express Tribune that Taranum, Shaan, Sara Khan, Veena Malik and Neetu Chandra are definitely participating.
A source close to Malik said that she had been picked because of the level of controversy she had generated in the past few months. “The Asif - Veena saga has been in the news for a while and might be a reason for which ‘Big Boss’ decided to sign Veena Malik. Veena is likely to stay in show for at least a month as it will increase the show’s ratings. People are already discussing the expected catfight between Veena and Neetu,” the source said.
Neetu Chandra was allegedly a close friend of cricketer Mohammad Asif. A record of calls made by Mohammad Asif showed that he had called Chandra many times and Veena Malik had highlighted this point in interviews.
Malik is likely to be paid about Rs20 million for her appearance. Before going to India she said that she may consider the offer to be a part of the show. “I will only be accepting the offer if I find the rest of the contestants equal to my stature,” she had said then.
Malik’s manger Sohail Rashid told The Express Tribune, “I have heard the buzz (about the show) too. But I cannot confirm or rule it out.”
“Big Boss” has been mired in controversy since it debuted on television. The Indian version of “Celebrity Big Brother” features a number of contestants locked away in a house and disconnected from the world, who have to complete tasks and outwit each other to escape elimination. In the past few years, the reality show has featured former actors such as Rahul Roy (who went on to win the first season) and Monica Bedi, ‘item girls’ such as Rakhi Sawant and Sherlyn Chopra, ex-cricketers (Vinod Kambli) and struggling actors (Shamita Shetty and Zulfi Syed).
The show’s second season (hosted by Shilpa Shetty) featured Jade Goody, who had been involved in a racism row with Shetty when they both appeared on “Celebrity Big Brother” in the UK. Goody discovered while she was living in the “Big Boss” house that she had been diagnosed with cancer, returned to the UK and died a few months later.
The show has also managed to create new ‘stars’ that got their own reality shows - Rakhi Sawant went on to appear in “Rakhi Ka Swayamwar” and “Pati, Patni Aur Woh” and Rahul Mahajan starred in “Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayega”.
The show has been hosted by A-list Bollywood stars. Arshad Warsi, Shilpa Shetty and Amitabh Bachchan were the respective hosts for the first three seasons and the upcoming one will be hosted by Salman Khan, who is currently enjoying a renewed wave of success after his film Dabangg broke box office records in India.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2010.