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Indian Superstar in Leicester

Hundreds of fans gathered to catch a glimpse of their film icon. Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan was in the city to open a new diabetes centre. Listen to his interview with BBC Leicester's Hasan Patel.

Hundreds of Indian film fans gathered to welcome their Bollywood hero to Leicester.

Superstar Amitabh Bachchan was in the city to open the new headquarters of the Silver Star Appeal, a diabetes charity, in Uppingham Road.

The street had to be closed by police during his visit and stewards struggled to contain fans desperate to get a picture, autograph or handshake from their hero.
Hasan Patel with Amitabh Bachchan

The star, whose film career spans nearly 40 years, is international patron of the appeal, and visited Leicester the day before performing in London. He is on a world tour.

As Mr Bachchan opened the charity's headquarters, he urged people to go out and get a free diabetes test.

Spreading the Message

He was asked to become patron of the appeal by Leicester East MP Keith Vaz when he visited the city two years ago.

Speaking to his fans before he cut the ribbon to the centre, he said:
"Coming to Leicester is like coming home because of the reception and welcome. It is always tremendous."

The charity, set up by Mr Vaz last year, has raised about £50,000, which has funded its first mobile diabetes assessment unit.

The specially-equipped van provides free blood sugar tests, which can detect the disease.

Amitabh Bachchan took a tour of the new centre and also had a diabetes test done.

Mr Vaz was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes four years ago, after he went to open an assessment centre.

Scholarship Announced

A new £1,000 annual scholarship will be set up in Mr Bachchan's name to help students studying diabetes-related subjects at either of Leicester's two universities.

Mr Bachchan also signed a car which will be raffled to raise funds for the charity.

Fans waited for hours to see their film icon in person. One fan said:

"He's been my favourite hero since I was a young child and it's the first time I've seen up in person. It's great that he's supporting a Leicester charity and trying to do some good."

Courtesy: BBC News

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