12.55pm UPDATE: Newport (Ymerodraeth State of Mind) has now had 119,575 views on YouTube and is the 'Top Favourited' and 'Most Viewed' video on YouTube today.

WHAT started out as a bit of fun turned into an overnight success sparking praise from singer Lily Allen and thrusting Newport into the spotlight.

Music video Newport (Ymerodraeth - State of Mind) a parody of Jay Z's number one hit single Empire State of Mind featuring Alicia Keys - had more than 5,000 hits on YouTube and was third in the site's top favourite videos just 24 hours after it was posted.

The video, devised and filmed by London director MJ Delaney, 24, featured actors Alex Warren, 24 and Terema Wainwright, 25, the original video to new lyrics with a Newport theme and was filmed in locations around the city including the bus station and Rodney Parade.

Miss Delaney, came up with the idea when playing around with alternative lyrics for the song and replaced New York with Newport.

The 24-year-old later held auditions to find people to play Jay Z and Alicia's Welsh counterparts and with the help of her aunt’s sister, Margaret Chaplin, who lives in Newport and showed them around the city, they shot the video on June 19.

Miss Wainwright who wanted the part so badly she dressed up as Alicia Keys to impress the panel in her call-back audition, has strong links with Wales having grown up in Lampeter.

She said: “When I got the lyrics sent to me I was laughing my head off, I thought it was so funny.”

Since it was posted on Monday, the video has been praised by Lilly Allen who tweeted about it calling it “amazing” and rapper Example said it was the most original thing he had seen in 2010.

Mr Warren, whose dad Terry is originally from Gwent, said they were overwhelmed by its success.

“I am absolutely gobsmacked. It was great filming in Newport, it’s a really pretty town and everyone was really nice. I am half-Welsh and Terema lived in Wales, so it was an affectionate homage.”

“I am really glad people have responded to it so well,” he said.

Chorus lyrics from Newport (Ymerodraeth State of Mind)

Newport concrete jungle nothing in order,
Not far from the border
When you are in Newport,
Chips, cheese, curry, make you feel brand new,
Washed down with a special brew,
Repeat the word Newport, Newport, Newport,

Newport, twinned with Guangxi province in China,
There's no province finer,
Josie D'Arby's from Newport,
Yes, It's strange we didn't know either,
Thank you Wikipedia,
Lets say more for Newport, Newport, Newport.

Newport spoof gets us laughing

THE Argus office was ringing with laughter yesterday as we discovered the hilarious YouTube spoof video version of Empire State of Mind, Newport (Ymerodraeth state of mind). This brilliant piece of work should be enjoyed by all of our readers and, we hope, the city's marketeers might be able to make some use of it. We're led to believe that songstress Lily Allen has already become a fan and we expect it to become an overnight sensation with its affectionate mini-portrait of Newport overlaid with its superb and thankfully subtitled lyrics.