Page last updated at 16:14 GMT, Saturday, 30 July 2005 17:14 UK

Heavyweight honeymoon spot

Lennox Lewis
Lennox Lewis went to Belfast for his honeymoon

Belfast may not be everyone's idea of a romantic holiday destination.

But for former world heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis, Royal Avenue may as well have been the Champs E'lysee.

Lewis decided to kill two birds with one stone when he visited Belfast this week by combining his new job as an actor with his honeymoon.

The former boxer is to appear in a gangster film set in London, but being shot in Belfast, alongside ex-soccer hardman Vinnie Jones and Irish pop star Samantha Mumba.

Although the wind, rain and grey skies may be in contrast to the sun and sand of his home in Jamaica, Lewis said he had thoroughly enjoyed his honeymoon in Northern Ireland's capital city.

"When I go back and tell people where I went on my honeymoon, I'm going to say Belfast. They'll go Belfast? I'll say yeah, it was great," he said.

Lewis, who retired from boxing last year, said he hoped this acting role would be the first of many.

He said: "I think this is my new job. Forget about the boxing, this is my new job."

Part of the funding for the movie, which is being filmed at a film set constructed at the now abandoned Maysfield Leisure Centre in east Belfast, has been provided by the Department of Culture.

Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister David Hanson said the possibility of future funding for further films to be shot in Belfast was good.

"I'll have a meeting very shortly about the budget next year, but for me the Film Commission work is a great priority," he said.

"I want to see the development of that, because it's bringing money into Northern Ireland. It puts the Northern Ireland creative industries on the map."

Extra opportunity for Vinnie fans
27 Jun 05 |  Northern Ireland

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