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Hundreds flood Newham shopping centre to greet Bollywood megastar

PUBLISHED: 17:39 21 August 2016 | UPDATED: 17:39 21 August 2016

Picture: Zoah Hedges-Stocks

Picture: Zoah Hedges-Stocks

Archant

Crowds of people flocked to EAST shopping centre near Upton Park yesterday to greet Indian actor Anil Kapoor.

Picture: Zoah Hedges-StocksPicture: Zoah Hedges-Stocks

The Slumdog Millionaire star was in the UK to promote the second season of the Indian version of 24, which he not only stars in but also produces.

The 59-year-old heart-throb looked every bit the celebrity in his leather jacket and mirrored shades.

More than 300 people turned out to see him, and police officers were inside the Green Street shopping centre to control the crowds.

Anil Kapoor spoke to his fans in English and Hindi before performing some of his hit Bollywood songs and meeting competition winners.

Police officers and security guards controlled the crowds. Picture: Zoah Hedges-StocksPolice officers and security guards controlled the crowds. Picture: Zoah Hedges-Stocks

The Recorder asked him how he felt about London. “I just love it, I love the city, I love the people, I love the culture.”

When asked if British Bollywood fans were the best in the world, he said “yes, 100 percent, at least to me. They really love our films and it’s great to meet them in person.”

He said that the Hindi version of the hit spy drama is “the most expensive show that’s ever been made in India. 24 has become like an addiction to me.”

The actor and producer is not only one of Bollywood’s leading lights but has crossover appeal too, having appeared in Hollywood blockbusters Slumdog Millionaire and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol as well as the original 24.

L-R, Wahija Aza,, 18; Hina Azam, 35; Isha Azam, 14. Picture: Zoah Hedges-StocksL-R, Wahija Aza,, 18; Hina Azam, 35; Isha Azam, 14. Picture: Zoah Hedges-Stocks

Given his fame overseas, lots of Bollywood fans were taken aback when it was announced that he was coming to the borough.

Krishna Yadav, of Inniskilling Road, was in the crowd and said “I have been a big fan since his first film. I was surprised to hear he was coming here.

“It’s nice to see someone you have grown up watching.”

ahija Azam, 18, said: “I felt ecstatic - it was a dream come true to see him live because I have watched him from childgood. My mum has a huge crush on him!”

Murad Shaikh, 17, of Heigham Road, got to meet Anil Kapoor. Picture: Zoah Hedges-StocksMurad Shaikh, 17, of Heigham Road, got to meet Anil Kapoor. Picture: Zoah Hedges-Stocks

Her sister Isha, 14, added that her schoolfriends would “definitely be jealous” that she had got to see Anil Kapoor in the flesh.

Murad Shaikh, from Heigham Road, had the honour of actually meeting his idol, and had dressed for the occasion in a powder-blue blazer and Anil-inspired pompadour.

“It was the first time I have met a Bollywood star so it was a really good experience.”

Krishna Yadav, 27, of Inniskilling Road, wrote a letter to his idol. Picture: Zoah Hedges-StocksKrishna Yadav, 27, of Inniskilling Road, wrote a letter to his idol. Picture: Zoah Hedges-Stocks

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