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Jul 23, 2007 at 04:36pm IST

Lucky lips Shilpa Shetty charges $20,000 to open them

New Delhi: Guess what's the worth of Shilpa Shetty in pound terms, we mean in UK? Well, you will probably have to keep guessing!

But here is a small clue that could give you a rough idea on how much this Bollywood diva is making in Britain ever since she shot into fame from the sets of reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother.

Trying to make an estimate of Shilpa's brand value, Henry Deedes of London's Independent newspaper says Shilpa was charging somewhere in the region of £20,000 (approx Rs 15 lakh) even for a chat with a newspaper.

BIG BREAK: Shilpa's star value has shot up in Britain ever since her role in Celebrity Big Brother.

Deedes cites an instance from the 'India Now' event where a sari-clad Shilpa Shetty posed with the Mayor of London Ken Livingston to promote London's three-month celebration of Indian culture last week.

"Well-intentioned as the actress' motives no doubt were, her services didn't exactly come cheap," Deedes writes.

"When journalists following the event enquired after interviews with the comely star to speak about her noble cause, they were informed by organisers not only would their publications have to pay for the pleasure, but it was likely to cost them somewhere in the region of £20,000."

Writing the column 'Pandora', Deedes says "leaving aside the sums involved, hacks were stunned that Shetty wouldn't be champing at the bit for the exposure. Despite winning Celebrity Big Brother — and some News of the World scandal over her private life — Shetty could hardly be considered a household name."

"When questioned about the matter, organisers of India Now, however, were unmoved. 'Sorry, but we've been told by her people that this is the usual sort of fee she'd ask for,' I'm told," Deedes writes. "But I am certain it is something that could be negotiated."

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