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Friday, 2 November, 2001, 05:42 GMT
Asian TV version of Austen novel
An English literary classic, the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, is being transformed into a contemporary Asian drama for British television.

Austen's 19th century novel is to undergo a dramatic change with the quintessentially English family replaced by a multicultural cast.

The heroine and hero, Elizabeth Bennet and tall dark and handsome Mr Darcy, have become Lalita Bhonot, one of five sisters in an Asian family, and an Oxford-educated lawyer called Dara Singh.

The author of the Asian version , Farrukh Dhondy, says he wrote it because he felt the values of 19th century England on issues like class, and restrictive practices such as arranged marriages, would resonate strongly with Asian families living in Britain today.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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