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Michael Sheen's mum and dad take top billing

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 15, 2011

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THEY are more used to seeing their son on the big screen.

But Hollywood actor Michael Sheen's parents were themselves the stars of a surprise DVD put together at a bash to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.

It was screened during the party at Blanco's Hotel in Port Talbot, which has a suite named in Michael's honour.

And he was there, together with more than 100 family and friends, to raise a toast to Meyrick and Irene, dashing down from London after appearing on stage as Hamlet and then dashing back once the party was over.

"We had a great night," said Meyrick, who lives with Irene in Baglan. "My daughter, Joanna, arranged a fantastic surprise for us.

"She had a DVD professionally made, and we all watched it while we were having our meal.

"There were old black and white photographs of Irene and me as babies, through to our wedding, our children and our grandchildren.

"There were also scenes from The Passion.

"Joanna also interviewed our closest friends and family about what they thought of us. It was absolutely fantastic, I've never seen anything like it."

The night also saw more surprises for the golden couple, including a song by Michael Conway, who is a relative of the Sheens.

The Margam-born West End star was due to be on stage in Jersey Boys but made the trip from London to Port Talbot to give a special performance.

Meyrick and Irene (nee Thomas) were both Port Talbot-born and met while they were both in their teens during the 1950s.

"I saw Irene on the seafront when she was aged 14 and asked this girl I knew to give her a note, saying I would like to meet her," he recalled.

"It was on and off with us for the next five years but we got married when Irene was 19 and I was 21."

The couple tied the knot at St Paul's Church in Aberavon, where Meyrick was a choirboy and his father was the choirmaster, just as his father had been before him.

"We went by train to London for our honeymoon and on the way back we stopped off at Newport, and that was where we started our married life."

Meyrick's work later took the family to Wallasey in Cheshire before they returned to Port Talbot in 1977.

The golden wedding party was held at the Michael Sheen Suite at Blanco's, and the actor himself was there despite being busy in London.

"He did the matinee and evening performance of Hamlet on the Saturday night," said Meyrick, who spent four nights in London with Irene, including a visit to see the play.

"Then he jumped on the train with Rachel (his partner, Time Traveller's wife star Rachel McAdams) on Sunday afternoon.

"They stayed for the party on Sunday night and then yesterday morning they went back on the train."

Despite their son's demanding schedule, there was no doubt he was going to miss his parents' big night.

"When I turned 70 he was working in New York. Michael flew over one night, stayed for the function and then flew back the next day."

The golden wedding party was attended by around 110 people and, said Meyrick, was a night to remember, with owner Clive Hopkins and his staff pulling out all the stops.

"It was wonderful from start to finish," he added.

paul.lewis@swwmedia.co.uk

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