A national uproar has arisen in India over the treatment of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty on Britain's Celebrity Big Brother by fellow contestants, with protests being staged in some cities and newspaper front pages ablaze with the story. The television show has also evoked comments from Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown (who was visiting India) urging racial tolerance. OFCOM, the British TV regulator said that it had received more than 21,000 complaints about the conduct of Shetty's fellow contestants. In a statement, Channel 4, which airs the program, said, "To date there has been no overt racial abuse or racist behavior directed against Shilpa Shetty within the Big Brother house. However there has undoubtedly been a cultural and class clash between her and three of the British females in the house." Ratings for the show have soared since the controversy began with 4.5 million viewers tuning in on Tuesday night versus 3.5 million the night before. Meanwhile Conservative Party leader suggested that those complaining to OFCOM had their own "great regulator called the Off button." One of the show's sponsors, Carphone Warehouse, showed its displeasure by pulling its ads from the show.




18/01/2007