Hollywood actress Zooey Deschanel is leading a revival of the ukelele - because she fears the unusual instrument will become defunct unless people start playing it again.

The Almost Famous beauty's grandmother inspired her to take up the guitar-like instrument, by telling her inspirational stories about the ukelele's fashionable status during the 1920s.

But Deschanel is anxious about the absence of her favourite instrument in contemporary music, so has urged fans to follow her example by learning how to play the ukelele.

She says, "I urge all my fans, friends, family anyone who'll listen to play the ukelele. It's a brilliant instrument.

"I took it up after my granny told me about all the cool people who played it, and the great clubs they performed in.

"It's got such a great sound that you don't hear any more. So please, learn it and keep the ukelele alive."

26/04/2005 13:59