Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 November 2019

Amitabh Bachchan forced to pull out of Sharjah International Book Fair

The Bollywood star, who was due to speak on the event's opening day, is unable to travel due to illness

Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan will no longer be appearing at the Sharjah International Book Fair
Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan will no longer be appearing at the Sharjah International Book Fair

Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan has pulled out of the Sharjah International Book Fair due to ill health.

Bachchan was due to speak on the opening day of the fair at Sharjah Expo to launch a book about his life, Sounding Off: Amitabh Bachchan.

In a statement released on Tuesday night, SIBF organisers confirmed that the 77-year-old was “unable to fulfil his scheduled attendance at the book fair on October 30 at 5pm, owing to health issues, which make him unfit to undertake overseas travel”. It is understood that Bachchan was hospitalised earlier this month.

The statement added: “Bachchan sent his regards to the millions of fans who were eagerly anticipating to hear from him, in person, at the book fair. He expressed profound dismay for missing this opportunity to meet and address them.”

Bachchan is one of India’s most recognisable figures and was one of the headline speakers at the book fair. He made his first appearance in a film in 1969 with a minor narrator role in the National Award-winning Bhuvan Shome and has since appeared in more than 230 films, including Don (1978), for which he won a Filmfare Award for Best Actor, Sharaabi (1984), Aks (2001) and Piku (2015), for which he won a National Film Award for Best Actor.

Bachchan has also made many television appearances, hosting popular Indian shows such as Kaun Banega Crorepati, Bigg Boss and KBC, and stepped into politics at various times during his life.

The Sharjah International Book Fair is celebrating its 38th year and will welcome dozens of high-profile speakers over the 11-day event, including authors Orhan Pamuk and Vikram Seth, as well as US comedian Steve Harvey.

The Sharjah International Book Fair runs until Saturday, November 9. More information is available at sibf.com

Updated: October 31, 2019 02:08 PM

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