Akshay Kumar to miss Dubai event today

The Bollywood actor and director Farah Khan will be unable to attend due to an illness and work, respectively. Katrina Kaif is still on board

It seems like the December blues have set in Dubai with two top celebrities bailing out on public appearances in the last 48 hours.

First it was Hollywood legend Sean Penn who gave a miss to his Lifetime Achievement Award at the ongoing Dubai International Film Festival. Now it is Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar who will be missing out on today’s publicity stunt for his upcoming flick, “Tees Maar Khan”, where co-star Katrina Kaif and the actor were supposed to sell advance booking tickets at Grand Cineplex to the first 20 people; the film is releasing in UAE cinemas on December 23.

Film director Farah Khan is also not expected to attend the Dubai event.

According to well-placed sources, Kumar bailed out on the trip last minute due to an illness; details of his condition are not known.

As for Khan, the same source mentioned that the Dubai date was clashing with some pre release editing work and she is unable to fly.

However, the show must go on as they say in tinseltown and the good news is that Kaif is still expected to walk the red carpet at Grand and enter the ticket booth at the required time of 7pm – predicting delays due to make-up touch ups and other such events of course.

The actress, who was just voted by British newspaper "Eastern Eye" as the Sexiest Asian Woman Alive a third time and is the brand ambassador for Etihad Airways, has a large fan following of her own and is expected to be a top draw even when she is flying solo. Kaif has already set tongues wagging with her new item dance track, "Sheila Ki Jawani" from the same movie, which she calls her "raunchiest song ever".

Meanwhile, Penn’s unfortunate departure yesterday was due to rioting breaking out in Haiti where the actor and his J/P Haiti Relief Organisation have been working since the devastating earthquake of last year.

In a statement, the Academy Award-winning actor said: “I am honored to receive the Dubai Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award and had every intention of being there to accept it in person. Regretfully, the situation in Haiti has worsened and it was of the utmost importance that I be there to ensure the safety of my staff and the J/P HRO camp. I look forward to attending Dubai’s Festival in the future.”

They say bad news travels in threes. Here’s hoping that the next big celebrity appearance, that of Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the Masala! Awards, goes off without a hitch.


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