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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 16:44 GMT 17:44 UK
Bollywood star edits BBC website
Dev Anand
Anand was first interviewed by the BBC in the 1950s
Bollywood star Dev Anand has been made guest editor of the BBC's Hindi website as it launched a new internet magazine, BBC Patrika.

The 82-year-old actor and director, known as "the evergreen hero" of Indian film, monitors the site from the city of Mumbai (Bombay).

"I have always accepted challenges and I feel BBC Hindi Online has also been doing this all the time," Anand said.

BBC Patrika will have a new guest editor every three months.

It incorporates the features from the site's Entertainment index, together with original material including stories, poetry and interviews.

Exclusive

Anand said he was "pleasantly surprised" to be asked to act as guest editor.

"I have played innumerable roles in my lifetime, but never that of an editor," he added.

"There is something that is common between BBC and myself. I have never copied anyone and in that regard I am 'exclusive' - and so is the BBC."

The editor of bbchindi.com, Salma Zaidi, said she hopes the site will "engage users looking for something more than just Bollywood and fashion."

Patrika - which is the Hindi word for "magazine" - is intended to fill a gap created by the closure of many Hindi literary magazines in India.

"It has always been our endeavour to broaden the agenda of the site and BBC Hindi magazine perfectly fits into this vision," said Achala Sharma, the head of the BBC's Hindi service.

"We are getting a very positive response from our users and it is very heartening to note that they feel that [this gap] is now being filled."


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