British actor Richard E Grant's directorial debut, a semi-autobiographical account of how his mother cheated on his father, is helping him permanently reunite with his estranged mum.

The 48-year-old star has been brought closer to his mother LEONIE following this week's (begs15AUG05) premiere of WAH-WAH, his partly fictional account of his troubled childhood in Swaziland, at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.

The movie shows a character based on Grant's mother, played by Miranda Richardson, leaving her family for her lover when he was 11 years old.

Grant, who first re-established contact with his now 77-year-old mum six years ago, says, "She saw the script and wants to see the film.

"My mother couldn't come but that's only because she lives in Africa and has terrible arthritis.

"I'll send her a DVD so she can see it."