Oceans of excitement: George Clooney visit cheers quake victims and G8 wives


It was a blisteringly hot day in Italy's earthquake-ravaged L'Aquila area both for local residents and for visiting wives of the G8 leaders.

Gordon Brown's wife Sarah and Michelle Obama were among VIPs showing solidarity with the victims of the April 6 disaster.

Luckily, there was some respite from the stifling conditions when Ocean's Eleven star George Clooney dropped in after flying down from Lake Como in the north of the country, where he owns a summer retreat.

The Hollywood heart-throb received a superstar welcome as he arrived to meet people awaiting rehousing after losing their homes in the quake, which measured 6.3 on the Richter scale.

Obviously, the ladies were the most eager to get close to the screen hero, gathering around to have their photos taken with him and, for a very lucky few, be enveloped in a warm hug.

"It seems very important to focus attention on an area so ravaged by the earthquake and if my presence gets media attention I'm happy," explained George, who was accompanied by fellow actor Bill Murray.

Unveiling plans to shoot and star in a movie in the region, he explained: "I think this is the best way to lend a hand and boost the economy".

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