The first UK Bollywood acting school is to be set up in London later this year, organisers have said.

The acting school will be based in Ealing, west London, and will act as a spin-off from the Actor Prepares academy in Mumbai, India, set up by Bollywood actor Anupam Kher.

Kher is a veteran of Bollywood cinema, appearing in some 400 films, as well as staring in the UK film Bend It Like Beckham.

"During the filming of Bend it Like Beckham it became obvious to me that there was enormous potential to build much stronger links between UK and Indian cinema," Kher said today in announcing the plans for the school.

"The huge success of the movie shows what happens when you combine UK and Indian artistic talent. This is a natural synergy which creates something special."

The 2002 film follows a young Sikh girl who rebels against her parents to follow her dream of playing football like her hero, David Beckham.

Plans are now in place to open the acting school in September and Kher claims there are plans to open more internationally.

"I would like to see this UK and Europe school become the springboard to launch similar schools around the world," the actor said.

Initial plans for the London school will see three three-month courses being run through the year, with up to 60 students being taught.

Kher hope the academy will improve performances in Bollywood films: "The standard of acting in Indian films was mediocre generally but in the last few years audiences have become much more educated towards cinema because of the onslaught of satellite channels.

"I am trying to kill off a certain style of clichéd Bollywood acting. It's already dying, so it is the right time to do this international school," the actor told the Times newspaper.

06/03/2008 14:59:14