MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING star Nia Vardalos counts Barry Manilow's classic hit MANDY as one of her favourite songs - because it reminds her of her first love.

The Canadian screen star, married to actor Ian Gomez, admits the song takes her back more than 20 years to her days as a high school student infatuated by a classmate.

She says, "I love Barry Manilow so much. When (he sings) Mandy everyone has a moment where they're suddenly transported back to a time, a boy - anybody that they love.

"For me it was DONNIE McREDMOND. I loved him. I was, I think, 17, and it was the slow dance at the end of the night, where you wait for someone to ask you and no one asked me. Then my girlfriends dared me to ask Donnie and I did.

"I think he was drunk, or something, I don't know what happened! But we slowdanced together and it was my first slowdance ever."

21/04/2004 02:29