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Nov 09, 2006 at 09:24pm IST

IIFA set for a British summer next yr

London: It will be a British summer for Bollywood next year as the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards are coming back to the UK, where they started seven years ago at the Millennium Dome.

The eighth annual IIFA weekend will be held in Yorkshire, UK, in June next year.

The formal launch was held on Wednesday evening in the House of Commons by IFFA's brand ambassador, Amitabh Bachchan.

THE BIG EVENT: IIFA was formally launched in the House of Commons by Amitabh Bachchan. (IBN)

And Yorkshire seems to have won Bachchan's heart. "It's unchartered territory, it's unique and has a marvellous history. The surroundings are interesting because of the scenery," he said.

UK's Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Tessa Jowell stressed on the growing partnership between the two countries.

"Hosting the awards in Yorkshire will also provide further tangible evidence of the growing bond between the two countries and what Yorkshire can offer to filmmakers," Jowell said.

So, if Dubai was the hotspot for IIFA this year, Yorkshire in 2007 expects to entertain some 28,000 visitors and earn £9.5 million.

In keeping with the IIFA tradition, there will be a blockbuster premier, business and cultural events including exhibitions and even a 20:20 cricket match. A special tribute will also be paid to late filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

Previous IIFA weekend events have hosted some of the world's major celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Shekhar Kapur, Ashok Amritraj, Jean Claude Van Damme, Bo Derek, Aishwarya Rai, Shah Rukh Khan and others.

IIFA weekend celebrations have travelled across South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Amsterdam and Dubai.

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