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Last Updated: Friday, 16 June 2006, 17:35 GMT 18:35 UK
Yorkshire wins bid for Bollywood
Aishwarya Rai
Stars such as Aishwarya Rai are likely to attend
Yorkshire has beaten off global competition for the right to host the Bollywood equivalent of the Oscars.

The region will welcome some of the biggest stars of Indian cinema as it hosts the eighth International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards in 2007.

The announcement was made during this year's star-studded event in Dubai.

The success of the Yorkshire Tourist Board's bid, called "Yorkshire - love at first sight", is expected to attract more than 28,000 visitors.

Global following

The celebration traditionally takes place in June and kicks off with a red carpet event for the biggest names in Indian cinema and the world premiere of the year's biggest Bollywood epic.

Previously hosted by Johannesburg and Singapore, the four-day event is likely to attract Bollywood legends such as Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai - star of the 2004 hit film Bride and Prejudice.

Bollywood as a film industry is twice the size of Hollywood and has a global following of millions, with a successful production being watched by anything up to 3.2bn people worldwide.

The Yorkshire Tourist Board said IIFA was impressed by the region's countryside, sense of history, warmth of welcome and the committed partnership approach of the five cites involved - Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield, York and Hull.

'Major coup'

Councillor Mark Harris, leader of Leeds City Council, said: "This is fantastic news for Leeds and for the whole region.

"The IIFA awards are a huge international event which attracts Bollywood stars who have more fans than many major Hollywood actors.

"Winning the right to stage the IIFA awards is a major coup and will showcase our beautiful region to a whole new audience of film producers, fans and international media.

"Leeds is proud to be part of this high-profile event and we will be extending a warm Yorkshire welcome to everyone who attends."

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