India's media reaction to Big Brother


Since the eviction of Jade Goody from the British reality TV show "Big Brother", according to the British press, Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty is now the most popular housemate. But in India, the media is telling a very different story.

Mumbai is no stranger to the world of glitz and glamour but the home of Bollywood is starting to question the motives of one of its most established actresses, Shilpa Shetty, who is currently starring in the British reality TV show "Celebrity Big Brother".

Faced with racist bullying by other housemates, first there was sympathy, but now the media here in India is becoming increasingly negative. Despite her claims of representing Indians, media reports here accuse her of only trying to revive a failing career and of taking part in the reality show for the money.

Although Jade Goody, the housemate who made the racist comments about Shilpa, has apologised, the knock-on effect may be felt long-term in India. As British companies withdraw Jade's top-selling perfume from the shelves, it's losing work for people in Mumbai where the perfume bottles are manufactured.


Part A. Reading Comprehension.

I. Answer the following questions using your own words but taking into account the information in the text (2 points: 1 point each)

a. What do media reports accuse Shilpa Shetty of?

b. What is happening to people in Mumbai and why?


II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Identify the part of the text that supports your answer. (1.5 point: 0.5 each)

a. Shilpa Shetty is a famous Californian film star.

b. Jade Goody is still participating in Big Brother.

c. British companies are removing Jade´s perfume from the supermarkets.


III. Find a synonym for each of the four words below from these six options: (1 point: 0.25 each)

sympathy     motives       long-term       withdraw      revive       manufactured

a. take away

b. for a long time

c. refresh

d. the feeling of being sorry


IV. Choose a, b, or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct (1.5 points: 0.5 each)

1.- Mumbai …

a) is one of the housemates in “Big Brother”

b) is a very popular Indian Bollywood actress

c) is the place where Bollywood is situated


2.- Jade Goody has apologised …

a) but has lost her job selling perfumes in Bollywood

b) and has lost a lot of sales

c) and knocked Shilpa Shetty out in a racist fight


3.- The British press …

a) says Shilpa Shetty has become the most popular housemate

b) agrees entirely with the Indian press

c) says Shilpa Shetty is not as popular as Jade Goody after the eviction


Part B. Composition (130-150 words approximately). Choose one of the following topics. (4 points)

1.- What is your opinion of programmes like Big Brother?

2.- What can we do to improve the quality of programmes on TV?