The sheer variety of the people who gathered at various times at the Montcalm Hotel in Central London was testament to his global appeal: from ‘summer tourists’ from the Gulf region who while their hours away in and around Marble Arch to the Scandinavian tourists who go ‘Ooh…Shah Rukh Khan is staying…at THIS hotel?!’
That cohesion ‘King’ SRK brings to the world of cinema fans was acknowledged by no less an august institution as the House of Commons this week when the 48-year-old superstar was awarded the Commons’ ‘Global Diversity Award’ in recognition for his achievements in cinema and his charitable activities.
Khan, who was in town for a promotional blitz ahead of the release of his new film ‘Happy New Year’, was presented with the honour during a ceremony at the Palace of Westminster on Saturday attended by speaker John Bercow and Leicester East MP Keith Vaz.
Mr Bercow described Khan as a “very special person” who had “achieved so much but has found the time to give back as well”.
“He has already featured in several films and won 14 Filmfare awards out of 30 he was nominated including eight best actor awards. He is also active in the fields of charity, particularly helping women who have suffered acid attacks,” Mr Bercow added.
Khan said it was a “big honour”.
“This is a special day for me and I am very humbled to receive the award instituted by Rainbow Foundation. My first visit to England was when I was 27 in connection with the first film ‘Baazigar’. I have got lot more than I deserved.”
He said the award would inspire him to work harder, particularly for the benefit of those on the margins of society.
“I will try to do in a small away, whatever I can,” he said.
Mr Vaz, founder of the Rainbow Foundation, said, “Shah Rukh Khan is regarded as one of the most famous actors on planet earth.”
Previous recipients of the honour include Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan, actress Aishwarya Rai, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton.