• While music composer Bappi Lahiri basks in the praises of his song, India Se Aaya Mera Dost (from the movie Chandni Chowk to China), which has topped the music charts in Mumbai, he has made another surprising announcement. It seems that he has made a song with Boy George, who was recently in the news for physically abusing a male prostitute, which should hit the shelves soon.

    The song, When Will You Learn from Your Tears & Suffering, was recorded for a film called Deewana Hoon Main Tera a while back.

    "But the song was delayed," he pointed out. "We're ready with it now. It's a fusion song. I do ragga and Boy George does pop. We had so much fun doing the song together. Boy George was filled with masti (fun). You'll love the track," Lahiri told Bollywood Hungama.

    On Boy George's recent run-in with the law, an astonished Lahiri said: "Oh, what happened? Why is he in jail? When we collaborated, I found him a brilliant singer and human being.

    "I don't know about his personal life, but I can tell you this much, he was great fun to work with."

    While the song was recorded in London, Boy George has visited Mumbai to work with Asha Bhosle for a song composed by R D Burman.

    Lahiri added: "I have had the opportunity to work with several international musicians such as Samantha Fox and Apache Indian. And recently, my song Jimmy Jimmy from Disco Dancer, featured in the Adam Sandler comedy, Don't Mess with Zohan. My name was mentioned in the end-credits.

    "Nowadays at home I'm also singing for other composers like A R Rahman and Vishal-Shekhar."


  • Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire is the buzz word in the film industry right now.

    Having won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay (Simon Beaufoy) and Best Original Score (A R Rahman), one can certainly understand why the movie is in the spotlight.

    While South Africans will have to wait until March 6 to experience the film's pull first- hand, there is currently a lot of speculation as to why Amitabh Bachchan, who hosted the game show Kaun Banega Crorepati (India's version of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?), was not asked to play a quizmaster in Slumdog Millionaire. After all, he would be in his element doing so.

    Big B told Bollywood Hungama that he was never approached to play the role of Prem Kumar, which went to Anil Kapoor.

    The film's casting director, Loveleen Tandon, confirmed that big stars were never approached as the character boarded on the villainous side.

    Tandon added: "In fact, the game show host is far more negative in the original novel (by Vikas Swarup). But we changed that. Still, audiences the world over would have been put off if they saw Mr Bachchan playing this game show host who wants the young hero, Jamal, to lose at any cost."

    "We changed all of that and still found the role unsuitable for Bachchan. We couldn't show him as a cunning game-show host. And, we did consider changing the identity of the slum-boy's icon from Mr Bachchan, so he could play the game-show host.

    "But the actor is too much of our hero and too representative of Bollywood globally to be sacrificed for a character. But we did need him to make an appearance as himself," she added.

    Incidentally, Feroz Abbas Khan, who has made a career out of impersonating Big B, was secured for a scene where the veteran actor is meant to descend from a helicopter and is surrounded by a crowd of slum- dweller fans.


  • Another star kid will soon make an entry in Bollywood. This time around it is Govinda's daughter, Narmada, who will signal her arrival in a home production.

    Govinda confirmed the news with Bollywood Hungama. "After weighing all the pros and cons I decided I am the best person to do the Namadal. I don't want anyone else, no matter how well-meaning, to take the credit for launching my daughter. So yes, Narmada will finally be launched anytime in 2009," he promised.

    The actor revealed that he is still finalising the movie's director; with rumours suggesting he will lean towards Nikhil Advani, who recently gave us the films Chandni Chowk to China, or Shaad Ali (Jhoom Barabar Jhoom).

    "Ideally, I'd have liked Narmada to be launched by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. He's among our best. But since that is not possible we're looking at some other names. My daughter has to be directed by someone who has a vision and an aesthetic sense and also respects the work that I do," Govinda pointed out.

    He added: "I've struggled all my life and continue to do so. All kinds of strange stories are planted about me. The question is not why, but by whom?

    "Narmada has also faced very hurtful incidents (she was involved in a terrible road accident) so early in her life. I feel today she is emotionally equipped to face the camera."

    And it would appear that Govinda has also made a few decisions about his own career.

    The actor shared: "Six of my releases are ready. But now, after my so-called comeback, I've again stopped signing new films. After working with Mani Ratnam I can't go back to doing roles in routine films. I will work only with directors who are as organised and disciplined as Ratnam. He's clear-headed about everything.

    "For now, I'm focusing on giving my daughter the best career launch a father can give."


  • Riteish Deshmukh was very quiet last year with cameos in Chamku and De Taali as his only credits. But he does have a few films in hand, like David Dhawan's Do Knot Disturb, Loot, Saamna and Koochie Koochie Hota Hain.

    And Ram Gopal Varma recently announced that Deshmukh is a big part of his next film, Rann. On the reported falling out between him and the actor over the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, RGV said: "Why should it change? Riteish and I knew exactly what happened. When we visited the Taj, we had no intention of exploiting the visit by making a film. What happened was not in our control."

    He added: "Neither of us is a politician. He's an actor and I'm a director. The best thing is to forget what happened and move on."

    By the way, Deshmukh plays a TV journalist in the film.