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The Year That Was: 2007
Rediff looks back at the highs and lows, the successes and failures, the heroes and villains, the wild and the overblown that made this year.

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1. Shilpa Shetty

December 18, 2007

She's always had the perfect body. In 2007, she got herself a springboard to match.

When Shilpa Shetty -- appreciated yet constantly underutilised in Bollywood -- went to take part in Channel Four's B-celebrity reality show Big Brother, people were either amused or sympathetic. Sure, the promised paycheck was a good one but nobody expected it to actually lead anywhere, did they? No chance.

Yet with all the elan of a Subhash Ghai script, things fell miraculously into place. Shilpa-fans in India, watching Youtube clips of the starlet doing sit-ups, suddenly noticed her crying. The media got wind of it, and a villain was soon found. Suddenly a racial rumble brewed up in the UK, and in the midst of it all, an inch-perfect picture of poise, stood Shilpa Shetty, looking poignant -- yet good enough to eat.

Obviously, she won. But boo to that, things just kept getting bigger. Films of various magnitude were offered, and the endorsements came in. She became choosier, shuttling between American and the UK with her musical or selling her perfume, and occasionally stopping by in Mumbai to say she's still around. The favourable notices for her Metro wouldn't have hurt, either.

There is much promise and while other starlets have been constantly trying to 'cross over' into international pop-culture, Shilpa -- who made the front page of the New York Times and had Germaine Greer write editorials about her - made it, for real.

This is proper global fame, bonafide, certified. Shilpa Shetty, megabrand.

Also see: Shilpa Shetty Controversy
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