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Last Updated: Monday, 19 September 2005, 00:10 GMT 01:10 UK
Stars light up UK's Walk of Fame
Kate Thornton and Sir Michael Caine on the Avenue of Stars
Sir Michael Caine cut the ribbon to open the Avenue of Stars
The UK's answer to Hollywood's Walk of Fame has been unveiled in a TV special.

Entertainers from the world of film, comedy, music and TV over the last 50 years were given plaques on the Avenue of Stars in central London.

Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir Alec Guinness and The Sex Pistols were among the first 100 stars to make it onto the Covent Garden walkway.

The stars were unveiled during the ITV1 show Avenue of the Stars, part of the channel's 50th birthday celebrations.

Sir Michael Caine cut the ribbon to open the avenue. He said it was a "great honour" to do so.

"I think it's incredible," he said. "Plus you may notice this is a little prettier than Hollywood Boulevard."

British and Commonwealth celebrities are eligible to get a star on the pavement outside St Paul's church in Covent Garden's Piazza, known as the actors' church.

Acting legends on the inaugural list include Bob Hope and Cary Grant, who were both born in the UK, and Australian-born Errol Flynn.

Dame Shirley Bassey at the Avenue of the Stars launch
Dame Shirley Bassey was among the musicians being honoured
Sir Charlie Chaplin, Sir Alfred Hitchcock, Sir John Mills and Stan Laurel are among the other classic stars honoured.

Current big screen favourites receiving stars include Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Peter O'Toole, Kenneth Branagh and Michael Gambon.

Giants of TV comedy on the list include John Cleese, Morecambe and Wise, Les Dawson, Benny Hill and Frankie Howerd.

And from the world of music, The Beatles, Tom Jones, The Rolling Stones and Dame Shirley Bassey were among the artists being immortalised.

More names will be added to the avenue every year.

As well as having their names set permanently in the walkway, celebrities were being presented with replica stars.

Sir Laurence Olivier's plaque on the Avenue of Stars
Sir Laurence Olivier
Sir Charlie Chaplin
Sir Alec Guinness
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Edna Everage
Nicole Kidman
Lenny Henry
Benny Hill
The Sex Pistols
The Rolling Stones

Chat show host and comedian Paul O'Grady, who presented TV presenter Cilla Black with her star, said many celebrities had been left off the list who he believed should have been included.

He said: "I think those who are getting it deserve it but I think they have omitted a few people."

He said the committee who drew up the list had focused too heavily on today's showbiz names and had overlooked the stars of the past.

TV presenters Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, known as Ant and Dec, who were among the first batch of stars to be honoured, said they thought the walkway was long overdue but had been shocked to be included.

Dec said: "They are all proper showbiz legends. We were standing in the Green Room saying we shouldn't be here. It's amazing, and tonight has been amazing."

Among those to be posthumously honoured was comedian Les Dawson.

Receiving the award on behalf of her late husband, Tracy Dawson said: "It's wonderful that people can walk through and see Les's star. It's very emotional.

"I think Les will be looking down and saying 'it's not bad for a Manchester lad'."

Full list of the first 100 stars:

Sir Alfred Hitchcock
The Beatles
The Sex Pistols
Sir Trevor McDonald
Dame Maggie Smith
Coronation Street
(Lord) Richard Attenborough
Sir Charles Chaplin
Victoria Wood
Sir Cliff Richard
Dame Gracie Fields
Christopher Lee
Cary Grant
Hugh Grant
Sir John Mills
Sir Alec Guinness
Sir Rex Harrison
Bob Geldof
(Lord) Laurence Olivier
The Rolling Stones
Glenda Jackson
Sir Peter Ustinov
Nicole Kidman
Michael Palin
Cilla Black
Julie Walters
Frankie Howerd
Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ralph Richardson
Sir David Frost
Peter O'Toole
Alan Whicker
Sir John Gielgud
Tony Hancock
Dame Peggy Ashcroft
David Bowie
The Bee Gees
Pink Floyd
Dame Shirley Bassey
Dame Edith Evans
Ken Dodd
Tommy Cooper
Benny Hill
Stan Laurel
Lenny Henry
Eric Sykes
Dame Edna Everage
Sir Harry Secombe
The Two Ronnies
John Cleese
Dame Thora Hird
Arthur Lowe
Leonard Rossiter
Paul Eddington
Chris Tarrant
John Thaw
Robbie Coltrane
Sir Sean Connery
Dame Judy Dench
Sir Michael Caine
Dame Margot Fonteyn
Sir Anthony Hopkins
Dame Julie Andrews
Charles Laughton
Robbie Williams
Errol Flynn
Sir Michael Gambon
Sir Noel Coward
Richard Bryers
Sir Alan Bates
Bob Hope
The Kinks
Dame Vera Lynn
Brenda Blethyn
Peter Cook
Les Dawson
Rowan Atkinson
Peter Sellers
Bruce Forsyth
Spike Milligan
Sir David Jason
Ricky Gervais
Albert Finney
Morecambe and Wise
Dame Diana Rigg
Sir Nigel Hawthorne
Kenneth Branagh
David Niven
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
Sir Roger Moore
Dame Elizabeth Taylor
Billy Connolly
Richard Burton
Alan Bennett
Sir Dirk Bogarde
Dame Alicia Markova
Dame Helen Mirren
(Lord) Yehudi Menuhin
Eric Clapton
Tom Jones

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