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Saturday, December 26, 1998 Published at 11:19 GMT


Andrews hopes to sing again

Andrews: Star of stage and screen

The actress and singer Julie Andrews aims to be hitting the high notes early in the New Year after recovering from throat surgery.

It follows reports last month that her voice was ruined, marking the end of her singing career.

"I think the easiest thing to say is that, as is usually the case, the press got hold of a good story and blew it up out of all proportion," she says in an interview for a BBC Radio 2 Christmas special called Starring Julie.

"Yes, I had very minor surgery on my throat. It was very minor, it was not nodules, it was nothing hugely dangerous.

"But it is taking me a while to get my voice back into shape. I have not been working at it. I wanted to just take a year out as any athlete would do if they had a knee replacement or something like that in my case as I say it was minor and I intend to be singing by early next year."

The 63-year-old actress tells the programme that "to not sing with an orchestra again, to not be able to make music is a frightening concept".

In the programme, her close friend Robert Wise, who directed and produced her worldwide hit film The Sound Of Music, quotes from a letter he received from Julie Andrews.

It reads: "Don't be too concerned just because, as always, the wretched press have overblown facts to such an extent that everybody thinks I'm practically at death's door.

"So dear friend just to set the record straight I think you know that I did have an operation on my vocal cords and certainly recovery has been very slow."

Though not singing yet, the letter says, she hope "with time and perseverance" she can muster something "though perhaps not The Sound Of Music".

Julie Andrews made a tentative step back to singing this summer when she recorded the vocal part of Polynesia The Parrot for the London stage show Doctor Dolittle.

Starring Julie is on at 1700 GMT on BBC Radio 2 on Sunday 26 December.

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