That expression has graced countless cinema and television screens for the past two decades and this week Rhys Ifans returned to his Pembrokeshire roots after being named the new patron of the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven.

“It’s a huge honour to become a patron of the Torch and to support this priceless resource for the local community and the whole of Wales,” he said.

“May her flame continue to burn brightly.”

Born in Haverfordwest, Rhys is globally renowned, perhaps most commercially for his scene-stealing performance in Roger Michell’s ‘Notting Hill’ (1999) as Hugh Grant’s roommate Spike, where he starred opposite Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.

His early years on stage were spent with Theatr Clwyd which helped mould him into that enduring stage presence which is often difficult to categorise.

 Ifans is credited for his ability to disappear into compelling and often complex roles that stay in the memory for a long time to come.

He has just completed filming the second series of ‘House of the Dragon’ playing Hand of the King, Otto Hightower, shortly after filming ‘Inheritance’, which is a Miramax feature film wherehe starred alongside Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dynevor.

Ifans will also star in ‘Nyad’, which is an upcoming biographical sports drama film directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi starring Jodie Foster and Annette Benning which will be out out later in the year.

Commenting on Rhys Ifan's position as patron,  Torch executive director Ben Lloyd said: “We are thrilled that one of our leading actors has joined the call to protect the Torch as one of Wales’s most cherished cultural assets. We look forward to having Rhys as our patron and to have him visit the Torch.”

In 2022 Rhys took on the role in the comedy film 'The Phantom of the Open’ where he played opposite Mark Rylance and Sally Hawkins as well as season two of the crime thriller series ‘Temple’ with Mark Strong.

Matthew Vaughn’s latest film ‘The King’s Man,’ sees Rhys play the flamboyant Rasputin, which is being released on December 21.