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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 July, 2003, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
Movie to tell Weston's story
Simon Weston
Simon Weston: 'I'm chuffed to bits.'
Welsh Falklands war veteran Simon Weston has confirmed he has been in talks about plans to make a film of his life.

The former Welsh Guardsman who became the victim of horrific burns during a bombing attack on the Sir Galahad, become one of the most enduring images of the conflict.

And the way in which he rebuilt his life and went onto found the Weston Spirit charity to help young people, became something of a national inspiration for which he was awarded the OBE in 1992.

"I am so flattered by this - it is just wonderful," said the 41-year-old.

"I've met the actor who will play me to discuss the film. I happily gave them my permission to make it.

"It's incredible that anyone would want to make a film about my life - I didn't think anyone was that interested in me.

"I've been very lucky with all the accolades I've received - but someone wanting to recreate your life on screen is the highest accolade of them all."

A younger Simon Weston
Mr Weston in Welsh Guards uniform before the Falklands conflict

Mr Weston said he had already met actor Lewis Owen - star of Welsh soap opera Nuts and Bolts - earmarked to play him in the movie, to be written by Welsh-born Dean Cavanagh.

It will tell the story of how Simon Weston grew up in the Valleys town of Nelson before joining the Welsh Guards in 1978.

After seeing active service in Berlin, Northern Ireland and Kenya, in 1982 he became part of the Falklands Task Force which was to change his life dramatically.

He was on board the Sir Galahad when it was bombed by Argentine planes. A total of 47 soldiers died, and nearly 100 were injured.

Among them was Mr Weston. He suffered 49% burns to his body and face.

So severe were his injuries, that even after numerous skin grafts and operations, he continues with treatment to this day.

But it was during the early part of his recovery that he became aware of the problems faced by young people in his Valleys community and decided to set up Weston Spirit foundation.

Simon Weston and family
Mr Weston with wife Lucy, James, 11, Stuart, nine and Caitlin, five

The organisation - which aims to encourage 'personal development, confidence and self-esteem - has grown and now has centres all around the UK - Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Newcastle, Sunderland, Merseyside, London, Leeds and Manchester.

His plight - along with the community work he has worked so hard to promote - has been the subject of five BBC documentaries and his autobiography Walking Tall topped the bestsellers list.

Despite this fame and recognition, this is the first time a film has ever been talked about.

"I'd be honoured to help them portray my story accurately although it will be odd watching everything that happened to me all over again," added Mr Weston who lives in Cardiff with his wife and three children.

"I'm chuffed to bits they want to do this but I still find it quite hard to take in."




SEE ALSO:
Actor moved by Weston Spirit
17 Oct 99  |  Wales
Falklands hero carries baton
17 Jun 02  |  Wales


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