Shilpa Shetty to join EastEnders

Shilpa Shetty to make Albert Square her new address as she plans to marry

Shilpa Shetty is set to join the cast of EastEnders, according to reports.

The Celebrity Big Brother winner is to join the cast of the hit BBC show as a member of a new Indian family who move to Albert Square later this year.

Friends say the Bollywood star – who recently bought a £10 million mansion in Weybridge, Surrey – is determined to carve out a career in England, and sees this as the perfect opportunity.

‘EastEnders would be the springboard to long-term success in Britain – and that is very much in Shilpa’s sights.

‘She knows all about the show as it is a big hit in her homeland – and of course it is popular with a lot of Indians in the UK.’

Shilpa
was initially offered a role in the BBC soap in 2007 as a potential love interest for Phil Mitchell, but she turned it down.

Meanwhile, the Bollywood star has revealed she is set to marry her jewellery tycoon boyfriend, Raj Kundra, later this year, too.

The couple, who met in 2007, have made tentative plans to tie the knot in October, in a traditional ceremony in India.

Raj, a 34-year-old millionaire who owns a Dubai-based business trading precious stones and metals, has also started to help manage Shilpa’s career.

Speaking of Raj, who is believed to be behind her decision last month to invest £8 million in the cricket team Rajasthan Royals, she said: ‘I’ve always said that the day I decide to tie the knot it is going to be for good.

‘I have often wondered who the right person would be and I’ve come to realise that for me it is Raj. I’m completely sure he is my soul mate.’

But it wasn’t always a bed of roses. When they began dating there were reports speculating that Shilpa may have played a role in Raj’s separation from his first wife Kavita and their then one-year-old daughter.

Shilpa has always denied any wrongdoing and the couple insist they only got together after Raj’s marriage broke up.

The pair are yet to make an official announcement out of respect for Jade Goody, who appeared with Shilpa in Celebrity Big Brother.

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