A celebrated Welsh-born actor briefly upstaged legendary counterpart Richard Burton at a gala event in New York.

Michael Sheen got an unexpected bite of the Big Apple when he received a surprise honorary degree from Swansea University.

Richard and Michael were born a generation apart but hail from the same South Wales community of Port Talbot. Another famous thespian from the town is Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Michael turned out for the American launch of the Richard Burton Diaries and briefly stole the great man's limelight.

The event to highlight publication of the diaries in America was held at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The one volume, 704 page diary chronicles Richard's life, offering a unique insight into it, and was published last month in the UK.

Swansea University Vice Chancellor Professor Richard B Davies was on hand in New York to present the degree to Michael.

"These awards are conferred on individuals in recognition of outstanding achievement and contribution to the University or region," he said.

"Michael Sheen has achieved extraordinary success internationally. But he has never forgotten his roots and has found many ways to give something back to our part of the world. We are therefore delighted to honour him with this award."

Michael said: "I'm thrilled to receive this honorary degree, particularly as it comes from Swansea, the city that I grew up closest to and where I had some of the happiest times of my youth.

"I am so proud to still be involved with so many groups and organisations in the West Glamorgan area and so to be honoured by Swansea University in this way is especially meaningful for me."