Indian pop stars set to spice up restaurant opening

IN THEIR homeland they are as famous as Leona Lewis or Jedward.

Now the stars of the Indian version of The X Factor are set for their first gig in Scotland.

Five contestants from the show – which is as popular there as it is in the UK – will perform at the opening of a new Indian restaurant in the Capital.

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The show, called Saregamapa, allows all the participants to embark on a journey across the world in a bid to raise their profile, similar to the annual X Factor UK tour, which takes place after every season.

The singers and dancers were in London on a promotional visit when city man Assader Ali decided to contact the organisers in the off-chance some of the performers may be available for a one-night concert in Edinburgh.

His friend Salim Hyder was planning an opening night for his new restaurant on Morrison Street, Mumbai Mansion, and Mr Ali decided the icing on the cake would be the appearance of some of these artists, supplemented with a few celebrity guests.

He told the Evening News: "They were in London so I telephoned the agents and asked about their availability.

"As it happens, some of them are able to visit and sing for us.

"These people are getting very well known in India, much like The X Factor contestants in Britain are becoming more famous.

"It is a show that is watched by millions of people, so if they were to walk down the street in India, people would definitely know who they were.

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"Now they want to be famous world-wide and I think they will be. It is going to be a big party."

The identity of the performers will not be revealed until the event itself, but the high-profile stars involved in the Bollywood-themed show include Parachi Shah, Partive Gohila and duo Prativ and Sumedha.

Miss Scotland, Katharine Brown, is expected to be in attendance at the event tomorrow night, while a smattering of footballers from Hibs and Hearts will also be on the guest list.

The Indian talent show is among the most popular programmes in the country, regularly topping viewers' polls, and based on a similar public-voting concept.

There is, however, more of an emphasis on dancing than the UK version, given the Bollywood theme of the programme.

Mr Ali added: "We are expecting a great number of people to turn out and for this to be a hugely entertaining evening."


SAREGAMAPA is one of India's most popular television programmes.

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Based on the typical talent/reality television concept, it not only attracts much interest from within the country, but across the globe.

In the latest series a total of 106 million votes were registered, coming from 181 countries.

It regularly tops the viewing figures, and has a Bollywood theme, meaning contestants must be able not only to sing, but dance as well.

Zee TV broadcasts the show to an international audience, boosting ratings and the profile of the contestants.

Another difference between Saregamapa and the X-Factor is the participants are all from different regions of India, adding a geographical feel to proceedings.