Movie star Hugh Grant's desperate quest to land a role in popular British TV soap Eastenders has been rebuffed by the show's bosses, who claim he's too famous.

The Notting Hill hunk believes he possesses the perfect credentials to become the show's new villain, but regrets Eastenders chiefs are refusing to sign him because he's an established cinema star.

However, when Grant demanded to know why he's being rejected when veteran movie stars like Barbara Windsor and HONOR BLACKMAN - who appear in Eastenders and rival soap Coronation Street respectively - have made the transition to the small screen, producers promised to reconsider their decision.

He says, "I've appeared in Hollywood blockbusters but my ambition is to walk into (Eastenders pub) THE QUEEN VIC and order a pint.

"I'd love to be cast as a ladies' man who beds all the female characters.

"One TV boss said I was too famous, but when I pointed out Barbara Windsor in Eastenders and that Honor Blackman was joining Coronation Street, he said he'd get back to me."

17/08/2004 13:34