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British actors head to Bollywood for overseas assignments 

As many as 1,000 British actors and dancers move to Mumbai in past three years

29 June 2009. Immigrants’ inward march towards the UK is being met by an outward march by the artistes.

Even as internationally acclaimed performers are heading for the British shores to rock the party, the lesser known and the struggling are moving out.  

Meltdown in the UK film industry, coupled with rising demand for ‘white performers’ in the Indian film industry “Bollywood”, has seen an estimated 1,000 British actors and dancers zoom in on Mumbai.

So many of them have moved on the country’s flick hub in the past three years, reports indicate, adding the increasing popularity of the Indian films, following the success of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and other Hollywood movies based on Indian stories, too has been inspiring young British actresses to opt for Bollywood careers.

According to estimates, the competition is too tough back home in London for the British actors, as 1,000 performers come for audition for one job in London; in Mumbai there are just a handful of competitors.

British actresses can earn up to 1,000 pounds a day in Mumbai, where the opportunities are plentiful, while in London it’s a constant struggle for auditions.

English Bollywood star Hazel’s success story says it all. The 24-year-old from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, started her career as an extra artist. She went on to do advertisements for Ponds, Nokia and Samsung before getting her first proper role in a film `Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar’ two years ago.

As of now, the Bollywood acting school at the Ealing Institute of Media in London teaches martial arts, yoga, dance and Hindi; it also prepares the aspirants for a career in Indian films.

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