Upen Patel didn't mind stepping in for Salman

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Mumbai, May 1 (IANS) Everyone is talking about actor Upen Patel's daredevil act at the Zee awards function in London, but the actor says it was originally designed for Bollywood star Salman Khan.

"I was actually asked to step into Salman Khan's act at the last minute. Believe it or not, I had just one hour to rehearse! I don't know how I managed it," Upen, who featured in films like "36 China Town" and "Namastey London", told IANS.

"Salman, I'm told, couldn't come for his performance because of a torn ligament. I happily agreed to be a last-minute replacement because I didn't want them to incur losses. Why wouldn't I want to step in for Salman? He's a rock star. Besides, they altered Salman's act to suit my personality.

"Initially, I was supposed to dance to two songs from 'Partner'. But when I stepped in, they re-structured the intro with bits of my songs from '36 China Town' and 'Shakalaka Boom Boom' to begin the act."

The response Upen got from his fellow-Londoners on the Saturday event was unimaginable.

"London is my home. And to perform there was a dream come true for me. My mom, my sister and my entire family watched me. They had planned a lavish act with Salman with motorbikes on stage and everything."

Earlier, Upen was supposed to be part only of Shah Rukh Khan's act.

"He did a kind of 'Om Shanti Om' with a gender reversal where instead of all the heroines all the heroes joined him on stage. I was only supposed to be a part of that. But thanks to Salman, I had two acts, one for myself and one with Shah Rukh. The press here in London has gone ballistic over my act. I can't get over it."

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