The Times on “Meet the Russians”

London’s Russian jet set stars in reality TV show

They have transformed British football, made a lot of High Court lawyers very wealthy and set new benchmarks for extravagant living, but how well does Britain really know the rich Russians who live among us?

The producers of a new reality television series, starting next month, believe we aren’t nearly familiar enough with this “extraordinary world dripping in lashings of luxury, opulence, exclusive events and private jets”.

Meet the Russians, which airs on September 25 on the Fox television channel, is a nine-part fly-on-the-wall programme that will provide viewers with “privileged access to the wonderful world of select, wealthy Russians, Ukrainians and other post-Soviets living in London”.

Among the lead characters will be the Ukrainian pop star, actress and former Mrs World Kamaliya Zahoor. “With her eyes set on global pop domination, Kamaliya would love to force Lady Gaga to retire early,” we are told. She also claims “bathing in champagne is great for the skin, and it usually takes 30 bottles to fill her tub”.

Her husband, Mohammad Zahoor, is a dapper British-Pakistani billionaire who made his fortune in the post-Soviet steel industry and owns the English-language Kyiv Post in Ukraine but prefers life in Britain. He says that his most extravagant purchase was two private jets in one day.

Recently he told an interviewer that “I like the anonymity of London”. That seems unlikely to last.

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