Bollywood Comes to Shrewsbury


Actress Anu Hasan Spotted in Local Cafe

A Shrewsbury café owner was amazed to find that the elegant woman who popped in for coffee and a panini was a famous Bollywood actress.


Durmus ‘Frankie’ Ozdogan, 38, runs Aleyna’s Café within the Darwin Shopping Centre and says he was thrilled to find he’d served Anu Hasan, who is a huge star in India and among the UK’s Indian community.


And he was delighted that Anu, 43, happily posed for photographs with his two daughters, Aleyna, seven, and Millie, four.


And the film and TV star enjoyed her visit to Shrewsbury too: “We were filming the pilot for Travelogue which is for a Tamil TV channel.


“We loved Shrewsbury for its quaintness. It was like being in a town that takes you back to the 15th and 16th centuries with an ease that few other places can hope to achieve.


“We have completed our episode and I must say we seem to have captured most of Shrewsbury’s unique character. The shopping centre and Aleyna’s was where we went to recharge – both ourselves as well as our camera batteries.


“Durmus was fantastic and his kids were darling!”

Turkish born Durmus, who is better known locally as Frankie, admits he didn’t know who Anu was until a cameraman she was with told him.


He said: “They came in three times during the Sunday they were in Shrewsbury filming. I don’t know if they were doing a film or documentary but they spent the day in Shrewsbury.


“We served Anu and quite a few of the film crew. It was a real pleasure to serve someone like that as it’s not something we do every day.


“They came in early on, not long after we opened, and had coffee and a panini. They then returned twice more for coffee during the day. Anu was a lovely lady and I’m thrilled she chose to come to Aleyna’s Café for their breaks while in Shrewsbury.


Frankie has run his Aleyna’s Café business in the Darwin Centre for the past four months having moved from the Riverside Shopping Centre, where he was based for more than six years, as he wanted larger premises to accommodate an increase in trade.


Kevin Lockwood, Manager of the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside Shopping Centres, said: “It’s always nice to have a celebrity connection here at the Shopping Centres and we’re delighted that Anu chose to call here.


“Shrewsbury made a very favourable impression on her and hopefully her programme will attract many more visitors to the town.”


Frankie said: “I’m really pleased to have moved to the Darwin Centre. I have been in Shrewsbury for more than 10 years now and we opened Aleyna’s Café at the Riverside more than six years ago.


“Business has gone really well and we have many regular customers who all come to enjoy their coffees and cakes. It’s the first time we have had a Bollywood star drop in and if Anu wants to come back, we would love to see her.”


Anu Hasan is an award-winning Tamil actress and TV anchorwoman who has starred in more than 20 Bollywood blockbusters since making her debut in the critically acclaimed 1995 film, Indira.


She has a Masters degree in Physics and Management, is an expert in martial arts and an accomplished jazz singer.


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