27 FEBRUARY 2007

Jade Goody offered an olive branch to one of the world's most populous countries after arriving in India on Monday. The reality TV star, who found herself at the centre of a storm of controversy over allegedly racist comments made on Celebrity Big Brother, jetted into Delhi in a bid to repair the ensuing damage to her reputation.

The 25-year-old's bridge-building trip came six weeks after she provoked a national outcry by referring to Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty as "Shilpa Poppadom" and telling her to "go back to the slums". In the days that followed several TV channels cancelled interviews with the mum-of-two, and publishers pulled the plug on a deal for her autobiography.

Jade is hoping her trip to the subcontinent will draw a line under the row, however, and help put her career back on track. And although her remarks on the Channel 4 show provoked angry protests in India last month, the London-born celeb appears to have received a warm welcome from her hosts. Asked if she had been recognised in the street, she responded: "Yes, but people are being so nice."

Jade, who is to spend four days in the country, was eager to point out that she is funding the trip herself. "I am here on a strictly private visit," she told reporters. "I could have had my entire trip paid for and the people travelling with me could have been paid for, but I didn't want that. I don't want to be seen to be making money out of what happened."

Photo: ©
The embattled mum-of-two talks to reporters in the Indian capital. "Everyone is being so nice," she saidPhoto: © ReutersClick on photo to enlarge
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