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Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
On the global Taff Trail
A round-up of Welsh stars making the headlines

BBC News Online's Tom Bourton checks out the Welsh heritage of a former Cardiff resident who is starring in a new Hollywood movie.

Making all the noise this week across the UK media is the premiere of Hollywood meets Bollywood flick The Guru, starring Jimi Mistry and Heather Graham.

Jimi Mistry and Heather Graham
The not-Welsh Jimi Mistry with Heather Graham

The film, which is packed with dance and musical sequences sees Mistry play an Indian dance teacher who becomes a sex expert after a mistaken encounter with a porn star.

But the question on everyone's lips is: "Is he Welsh?"! Mistry lived in Cardiff "for quite a bit", as he followed his hospital consultant father around the country, and was working in a south Wales bar when he told his dad he wanted to be an actor.

But the former Eastender and star of East is East laughs off any claims to a Celtic heritage.

Last week, in an interview with the Scotsman, he admitted that he had been surprised when placed second only to Ioan Gruffudd in a Western Mail article on "Welshmen to watch in the new millennium".

However, as the PR machine for The Guru reached full speed, Mistry, whose mother is Irish and whose father is Indian, he told the Welsh Mirror that he still has fond memories of the capital.

"I went to school in Radyr, and my wife's from Brecon, so my feet are firmly in Wales - I was always a regular in the hotspots of Cardiff," he said.

Moving bridges

Also causing confusion in the movie world are rumours of a production team demanding that a picturesque bridge in the south Wales town of Crickhowell be moved.

On Monday, the USA Today newspaper reported that the town would be the setting for a major Hollywood film, Counting Sheep, starring George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Sir Anthony Hopkins
Hopkins: Unlikely to be dismantling bridges

However, they needed to move the bridge 150 yards down the river to avoid getting modern buildings in shot.

The story was understandably unpopular among local residents, but may prove to be spurious, and Hopkins' agent was quick to play down his involvement.

"We don't know anything about this film - if it was happening we would be the first to know," said his London agent Duncan Heath.

"Anthony has not mentioned anything about the film."

On the smaller screen, Tuesday's Western Mail has picked up on Welsh actor Damian Lewis being cast opposite Greta Scacchi in a TV drama about Jeffrey Archer.

But Carmarthenshire's Lewis, who previously starred in Steven Spielberg's WWII Band of Brothers, was not sure what Lord Archer would think of the film, which will be shown this autumn.

"He may actually love it," he said.

And the Welsh Mirror thinks the Bill star Hywel Simons, from Porthcawl, south Wales, will cause outrage with the show's first gay kiss when it is screened on Thursday.

Manics return

On the music front, the Manic Street Preachers are to play at St David's Hall in a special concert on 16 November, but you can only win tickets via a competition run by lager brand Carling.

James Dean Bradfield
A "manic" street preacher, apparently

The gig is part of the Carling Homecoming series, which takes bands back to their roots.

The band were regular visitors to St David's Hall as youngsters, and were even given their name while busking outside it.

Commenting on James' ranting style, a passer-by called him a "manic street preacher" and the name stuck.

Meanwhile the Mirror reveals the Stereophonics have been laying into Radiohead, calling the band "miserable" and describing lead singer Thom Yorke as "moany".

See also:

21 Aug 02 | Entertainment
20 Aug 02 | Entertainment
20 Aug 02 | Entertainment
18 Aug 02 | Wales
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