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Last Updated: Friday, 11 March, 2005, 20:02 GMT
Marriage brings Newman to Gower
Paul Newman
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward spent three days on Gower
Hollywood superstar actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward jetted in to south Wales to celebrate their daughter's wedding to a Welsh surfer.

The couple spent three days in Gower after their daughter Nell, 45, married Rhossili-born Gary Irving, in California last week.

The newlyweds had come to Wales to have their wedding celebrated.

Mr Newman and Ms Woodward stayed at the Fairyhill Hotel, where the service was carried out.

The couple met Mr Irving's mother and stepfather, Sue and Stuart Proctor, who admitted they had to pinch themselves that Paul Newman was sitting next to them.

Mr Irving moved to California some years ago, where he met his wife through their shared love of surfing - she bought a surfboard from his business.

Nell Newman
Nell Newman leaves the Fairyhill after her marriage blessing

She runs her father's Newman's Own Organics food empire.

The area is used to seeing A-list Hollywood stars following the marriage of local girl Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas.

The Newmans flew in by private jet to Wales on Tuesday, and left on Thursday.

Mr Proctor told BBC Wales: "We have met the legend - he was one of the boys. The people [at the hotel] have said how nice a couple Paul and Joanne are, and they are.

Mrs Proctor added: "Gary calls him a cool dude."

The Proctors could be seeing their famous in-laws again quite soon.

"Joanne went this morning and she said, you have got to come over and stay with us in New York then go to California to Gary and Nell'.

"Can you refuse an offer like that?" asked Mr Proctor.

Stuart and Sue Proctor
The Proctors have been invited to the Newmans' New York home

Mrs Proctor said the Newmans were hoping to come back to celebrate Gary and Nell's first wedding anniversary in Wales.

Although their stay was short, they did manage to see a bit of the local countryside.

"When we brought Gary and Nell down here for a meal two years ago, she said how beautiful it was, and her mum and dad said exactly the same.

"We took them down to Oxwich castle and went on to Oxwich beach. They said it was absolutely beautiful."

In the nearby post office, excitement at the visit was running high.

Post Office employee Deborah Pickard said it was nice for Paul Newman to come to Gower.

"There's a big buzz in the village that he's actually come down here and spent time at the Fairyhill," she told BBC Wales.

"It would have been nice for him to come in and buy a morning paper, but no, he didn't come in and see us.

"I think we would have been shell-shocked if we'd actually seen him in here!"

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