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London and Mumbai celebrate their creative industries with a star-studded showcase

23 November 2007

Leading artists from London and India including acting legend Amitabh Bachchan, UK classical artist Myleene Klass and Indian pop superstar Sonu Nigam performed last night at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace and Towers Hotel in Mumbai. International stage phenomenon, STOMP, star of London’s West End, Simon Bowman, one of London’s and two extremely special hats designed for this event by top London milliner, Louis Mariette, will also contribute their own unique style to this celebratory evening.

‘London and Mumbai – a creative celebration’ is being hosted by Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, and will include a special commendation for Amitabh Bachchan, widely recognised as the most influential Bollywood actor of the last 30 years. Amitabh will be presented with ‘The Visit London Special Award for Outstanding Achievement sponsored by Virgin Atlantic’, a special prelude to the annual Visit London Awards 2007 sponsored by Eurostar which will be held in London on 29 November.

Mr Livingstone is at the end of a week-long tour of India to deepen relationships with London. He is particularly keen to encourage relationships between the arts and the creative industries in London and India.

Mr Livingstone said: “Tonight will be a fantastic celebration of the arts in London and India, and provides a glimpse of some of the best talent from our two great creative countries. It also reflects my personal commitment to deepening the understanding and respect for each other through a greater appreciation of our respective cultures.”

‘London and Mumbai – a creative celebration’ will also feature a performance by the highly-regarded Mumbai-based Terence Lewis Contemporary Dance Company, an impactful piece of performance poetry by Kat Francois, a London-based poet, writer, producer and DJ.

Myleene Klass commented on her involvement: “As a musician, I have been privileged to see first hand how music transcends all boundaries and I feel so honoured to be an Ambassador for London in India, taking music I love to different territories in the world.”

Stomp said: “After touring the world for the last 16 years, Stomp is pleased to be coming to India

for the very first time! We're also proud to represent London in Mumbai, as a part of its unique culture of music, theatre and entertainment.”

Sir Cameron Mackintosh says: “As British audiences are enjoying Bollywood musicals more and more, I am delighted to have the opportunity of introducing one of the longest running musicals in the world which started in London’s West End, The Phantom of the Opera. And who better to sing this song than a star of the production, Simon Bowman.”

The event comes as part of the Mayor of London’s official week-long visit to India entitled “London and India: Partners in Globalisation”, to promote London as a destination for business, tourism, studying and creative industries and to strengthen relationships between London and India. It also follows a series of cultural events and collaborations. This summer London hosted ‘India Now’, a three month series of events and exhibitions dedicated to Indian art, film, theatre, music, fashion, food and business. Rahul Dravid, the Captain of the Indian cricket team, fashion designer Manish Arora and actors Shah Rukh Khan, Celina Jaitley and Shilpa Shetty were just some of the well-known faces who came to London to celebrate India Now.


Notes to Editors

  • Think London is the official foreign direct investment (FDI) agency for London which provides free, confidential and comprehensive advice to help international business locate and expand in London
  • London Higher is the representative 'umbrella' organisation for universities and higher education colleges in London
  • Visit London it is the official tourist organisation for London to promote and market London to leisure and business visitors and advocate quality improvements to tourism infrastructure and services.
  • Film London is an organisation created to sustain, promote and develop London as a major international film-making and film cultural capital.
  • London 2012 is an organisation responsible for the preparation and staging of the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and direct liaison with the IOC on the Games.


  • India is one of the world’s most rapidly growing economies. Growth last year was 9.2 per cent
  • India already accounts for the second highest number of inward investment projects into London after the US.
  • There are approximately 10,000 Indian-owned businesses in London employing 49,000 people.
  • India’s overseas investment in Europe has multiplied ten times in the past eight years, London accounts for just over 32 per cent of all European investment from India.
  • Almost half of all London-based Indian businesses that come to London operate in the software industry, with the second-biggest grouping represented by financial and business services.
    (Source: Think London)


  • In 2006 visitors to London from India spent more than those from Japan for the first time. Indian visitors spent £152 million last year, up from £107 million a year earlier. Compared to this, Japanese visitors spent a total of £134 million in 2006.
  • India is in London’s top 20 inbound markets with 230,000 visits from India in 2006, up from 166,000 in 2005.
  • Flight numbers have increased 38% in the last six years with flight routes from India to London being the country’s busiest, with approximately 130 flights a week to and from seven Indian cities.
  • According to World Travel and Tourism Council, India is now poised to be the 2nd fastest growing (8.8%) tourism economy in the world 2005-14
  • The Indian Government is making strong investments of + $10 billion US in infrastructure – especially airports and tourism infrastructure
  • The peak travel times for Indian visits to the UK are April-June/July-Sept
  • VFR (visiting friends and family) accounts for 38% of all visits, Business 32% and Holiday 21%
  • UK visa service boasts the shortest time to taken to get a visa (24 hrs).
  • 50% of Indians look, book and travel within 2 weeks.
    (Source: Visit London)


  • It is estimated that London’s international student population contribute approximately £1.5 billion to UK GDP (in the 2005/6 academic year).
  • Indian student numbers in London have doubled in the last five years from 2,190 in 2001 to 4,320 in 2005. It is estimated that India students contribute £60 million to London’s economy (in the 2005/6 academic year).
  • The leading course choices for Indian students are in Business and Administrative (32 per cent), followed by Computer Science (18 pe rcent) and Engineering and Technology (16 percent).
  • India represents a large potential student market for London, especially for postgraduate students with 75 percent of Indian students studying postgraduate degrees (MScs and PhDs). There are also a growing number of collaborative programmes between Indian and London universities.
    (Source: London Higher)


  • It is estimated that Indian productions are worth $28m annually to London.
  • In 2006, over 40 Indian productions filmed in the capital.
  • The three largest multiplex chains (Odeon, Vue Cinemas and Cineworld) routinely screen Hindi films that appear in the UK’s top 15 film lists.
  • There are several cinemas in London dedicated to screening Indian films including the Himalaya Palace, Southall; Safarai Cinema, Harrow; Belle-Vue Cinema, Willesden Green; and the Boleyn Cinema, Upton Park.
  • Hindi film title Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (2006) was the third highest grossing foreign language film at the UK Box Office in 2006.
  • 2. 6 million visits to Hindi films in the UK last year made Hindi films the most popular foreign language film; with Indian films accounting for 16% of all UK releases in total, taking £12.4m at the UK box office.
    (Sources:; Variety International Film Guide; Reuters; PricewaterhouseCoopers

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