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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 March 2007, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Bollywood awards launched in city
Amitabh Bachchan
Nearly 500 million people are expected to watch the awards
One of the biggest stars of Indian cinema is in Leeds to officially launch the 2007 Bollywood film awards.

Amitabh Bachchan arrived in the city as preparations got into full swing for the Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards, due to take place in Yorkshire in June.

The four-day star-studded event is expected to attract 28,000 visitors and will be broadcast to a global audience of nearly 500 million in 110 countries.

Organisers said the event would be a huge boost to the region's economy.

Mr Bachchan said the film community was looking forward to the awards in July.

He said: "It is an event that we all look forward to, it gives an opportunity for the entire film fraternity to collect in one place over a certain period of time.

"It's something that we can't do even in Bombay when we are all living together, so it is an opportunity to meet each other and of course spend time in a new location every year."

Linda Pollard, board member for regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, said in addition to the expected boost in tourism, the awards acted as a catalyst to access new markets.

She said: "It will forge stronger business and cultural links between Yorkshire and India, which is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

"Hosting an event of this scale will underpin the region's credentials as a major player for international events, building on the success of Royal Ascot in York in 2005."

An interview with Amitabh Bachchan

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