The actor Ben Kingsley returned to his roots yesterday to set young hopefuls on the road to Hollywood.
The Oscar-winning star of Gandhi and Schindler's List revisited his home town of Salford to open an acting school named after him.
Kingsley, who launched his television career with a 1960s appearance as a likely lad in Coronation Street, led a workshop for the first 32 students at the new Ben Kingsley Theatre at Pendleton College.
The 200-seat theatre, part-funded by the National Lottery, will be the base for a course in the basics of music, dance and drama production.
"I'm extremely privileged, extremely proud and I hope I don't let them down," Kingsley said. He aimed to be a frequent visitor to the school, running workshops to "stretch the students' acting muscles".
Kingsley said that he had hopes that the course would produce international stars, but he added: "I hope everyone here feels already that they are going to be a star because without that you don't get very far. It's a very competitive business."
The college principal, Peter Daley, said students were "fired up" by the opportunity to get some acting tips from the Hollywood star.
Kingsley, who once lived next door to L S Lowry in Pendlebury, Salford, is also a patron of the multi-million-pound Lowry Centre, due to open in 2000.
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