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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 August 2007, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Bollywood actor moves to Gwynedd
Mayur Verma
Mayur Verma said he fell in love with Wales 10 years ago
A Bollywood star has set up home in Dolgellau and hopes to make north Wales a location for productions.

Mayur Verma, 43, known as Raj, has moved to the town with his wife and two children and his mother, who is an established writer and film director.

The Delhi-born actor said: "Everyone is so welcoming and friendly and it's a great place to raise a family."

Mr Verma, who also has homes in London, India and the USA, has been in nearly 180 films since becoming a child star.

He made his debut in the film Mukaddar Ka Sikander, which made him an overnight Bollywood star and one of the highest-paid child stars in Indian cinema.

Since then, he has also worked as a producer, director and TV presenter. Mr Verma has already produced a TV film in Meirionnydd, Ahsaab, (The Fear), directed by his mother.

I wanted to be in a place where I can enjoy life and at the same time satisfy my creative appetite. I think this gives that balance
Mayur Verma

He said: "We've now bought a property here. I love the people here, it's rich heritage and culture and the peace and quiet.

"I think north Wales has so much to offer and I hope to make more films here for TV as well as providing a link to the major Bollywood film producers in India.

"Bollywood films are made all over the world, but I can't understand why they've never been made in Wales.

"It's a great location and it would certainly help to improve the tourist industry here because Asians love to visit the places they see in the films.

'Beautiful area'

"When they see the hero singing a song at a certain location, they would want to have their picture taken on that spot, that's the sort of following Bollywood has."

Mr Verma said he has had a holiday in Wales annually for past 10 years.

He added: "I wanted to be in a place where I can enjoy life and at the same time satisfy my creative appetite. I think this gives that balance."

His wife, a qualified chef, is planning to start a catering business in Dolgellau, specialising in "authentic" Indian cooking.

He said he plans to send his children to a local nursery. He said: "I want them to learn Welsh, so that through them I can then learn myself.

"I already appreciate the culture of this beautiful area and I feel it's very important to learn the language."

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