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Ioan Gruffudd to play Blair on film

The Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd is tipped to be cast as Tony Blair in a forthcoming Oliver Stone biopic on the life of George Bush.

At 34, Gruffudd is considerably younger than Robert Lindsay who played Blair in the More4 satires The Trial of Tony Blair and A Very Social Secretary and a decade younger than the ex-prime minister was when he took office in 1997, just before his 44th birthday. But there is a precedent for such a youthful portrayal: Michael Sheen played Mr Blair in the 2003 television drama The Deal and the 2006 film The Queen.

Thandie Newton, who was born in Zambia and raised in England, will play Condoleezza Rice in the Stone movie, W, which is due to start filming on 21 April.

Josh Brolin, who starred in No Country For Old Men, will play Bush in the film, which ranges from his early relationship with his father, through the 1990-91 Gulf War to his own presidency. Laura Bush will be played by Elizabeth Banks, star of The 40-Year-Old Virgin.