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Bollywood star with Hollywood fans is new soap siren.

IF TV bosses are looking for a replacement for Cilla - Hollyoaks newest recruit may be the answer. Laila Rouass, who joins the Mersey teen soap next month, is a former Bollywood star and hosted India's version of Blind Date. A stunning brunette, the former MTV presenter will play Dale Jackson, a police detective inspector brought into Hollyoaks village to investigate a serial killer. Although not on screen until February 3, London-born Laila has already attracted a few celebrity fans - including Hollywood star Wesley Snipes and singer Shaggy , both of whom she interviewed for MTV. It seems Mr Snipes wanted to take the action further once the cameras stopped rolling but Laila wasn't interested. She did show a little more interest in Shaggy with whom she reportedly had a brief relationship after the charismatic star returned from a tour.

Laila's appearance in Hollyoaks will ruffle a few feathers on screen, especially amongst father and son Will and Ben Davies who are both attracted to the feisty newcomer. But Laila told The insider: ``Dale is a real go-getter, very independent and career-minded she doesn't take any nonsense. I've been filming Hollyoaks since just before Christmas, and feel like I've really settled into the `family' now. ``It's certainly been a change from my past experience, but Dale is a really strong character and the role has certainly given me something to get my teeth into.

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NEW RECRUIT: Laila Rouass
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 9, 2003
Words:238
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