Salman and SRK bury the hatchet for Bigg Boss

In a surprise move, Bollywood actor Salman Khan welcomes a very special guest to the Bigg Boss show - his rival Shah Rukh Khan.

Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan, right, and Salman Khan, seemed to get along well on Bigg Boss. Sujit Jaiswal / AFP
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For the 70th episode of Bigg Boss, host Salman Khan - a free man now that his 2002 hit-and-run case has been thrown out of court - welcomed a very special guest: arch-rival Shah Rukh Khan. The programme, which is broadcast in the UAE daily on Colors TV, is India's version of the UK reality series Big Brother.
SRK was obviously on the show to promote his newly released film Dilwale, but the episode was cleverly marketed as the reunion of "two friends". It was cheesily set to the track Yeh Dosti, an iconic song celebrating "bromance", from the 1975 cult classic Sholay, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra.
That SRK made an appearance on Salman's show is a sign that either the two have made up, or decided to cash in on each other's success.
Their feud dates back to a 2008 quarrel over the ratings of the television shows they were hosting. Rumour has it that Salman claimed that his show Dus Ka Dum, had a bigger audience than SRK's Kya Aap Paanchvi Paas Se Tez Hai.
In retaliation, SRK hit below the belt, and commented on Salman's explosive relationship with his ex-girlfriend Aishwarya Rai (now Bachchan), which sparked the cold war.
A few years later, in 2013, the actors, who are both Muslim, made a big show of hugging each other at an iftar bash thrown by Mumbai politician Baba Siddique. The image of the two interlocking arms went viral, but didn't thaw out their relationship.
Well, until the Bigg Boss episode on Sunday night, that is. The actors seemed comfortable with each other and played silly games, one of them involving answering personal questions in an attempt to gauge how well they know each other.
They also danced to songs from their films - SRK's Lungi Dance and Salman's Dhinka Chika - and mocked the media for misrepresenting and sensationalising their rivalry. Then Kajol, SRK's co-star from Dilwale, joined them, but barely spoke and seemed prone to lots of nervous, awkward laughter.
After all the hype surrounding it, the episode was a major let-down, and felt simply like an exercise in showing the world that the two stars have finally buried the hatchet.
. Bigg Boss season 9 is broadcast on Colors at 10.30pm on weekdays and 9pm on weekends
ajhurani@thenational.ae