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Channel 4 to promote British Asian Bollywood Star
2nd November, 2003

Ever fancied being a Bollywood actor? Well now here's your chance. Channel 4 is promoting a new four-part series to be shown next year called Bollywood Star, providing those with a penchant for wiggling their hips the chance to audition for a part in a Bollywood movie.

The reality show series is being developed by Maverick TV and was commissioned by the Channel 4 Factual Entertainment and 4Learning departments. It was previously slated to be in three parts and was called Bollywood Princess. The decision to allow males to audition too prompted the name change.

The format of the series is not dissimilar to Pop Idol, and will involve a panel judging the suitability of hopefuls. The auditions will be used to whittle entrants down to 20. Of the twenty, six will be flown to Mumbai in early 2004 after another selection process in January 2004. In Mumbai they will learn the art of Bollywood acting and dancing, as well as be groomed by top costume designers and stylists.

The finalists will then be eliminated until one remains. The final contestant will have a part in a movie directed by Karan Johar, who has previously made blockbuster movies such Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhie Khushi and Kabhie Gum.

Confirmed panellists so far include Radio 1 DJ Bobby Friction and Anthony Van Laast (choreographer behind Bombay Dreams, Joseph and Jesus Christ Superstar). Two additional panellists will be announced later this month. It's also likely that Karan Johar will be monitoring the contestants and adding his own input.

Maverick and Channel 4 are hoping that the series becomes a launch pad for the career of many British Asians, who are currently under-represented on screen and in theatre.

The cut-off date for entry is the 25th of November, which has prompted many within the industry to express concerns that Maverick TV might not have given itself enough time to promote the series and ensure a big enough pool of talented individuals audition for the series. Poor talent would inevitably result in bad ratings for the series and might even sound the death knell for the current British obsession with all things Bollywood.

To enter the auditions, you can download the application form from here. Then either email the form and your photos to BollywoodStar@mavericktv.co.uk or send them to:

Bollywood Star, Maverick TV
Room 209, The Custard Factory
Gibb Street
Birmingham, B9 4AA

Unofficially, Maverick TV have indicated to us that they will accept application forms well into December, despite the cut-off date, to ensure a good number of entrants are chosen.

For more information, please contact Varsha Chauhan, Maverick Television: Tel 0121 693 1337.




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