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Friday, 7 December, 2001, 13:21 GMT
Rigg receives lifetime award
The Avengers made Diana Rigg a household name
The Avengers made Diana Rigg a household name
Dame Diana Rigg has been honoured for her contribution to television and film.

The former Avengers star won a lifetime achievement award at the Women in Film and Television Awards.

Kathy Burke was also among the winners, taking the creative originality award, while Maureen Lipman took the prestigious Mae West Award for her many respected television performances.

The annual event celebrates the talents of women in the film and television industries and winners are chosen by a panel of judges from the worlds of media and politics.

Rigg is perhaps most famous for her role as the leather clad Mrs Emma Peel, opposite Patrick Macnee in the 1960s show The Avengers.

Kathy Burke won best actress at Cannes
Kathy Burke won best actress at Cannes
She played the high-kicking assistant to John Steed but it was their on-screen chemistry which made it one of the top-rated TV shows at the time.

However she has also had a successful string of movie and theatre appearances under her belt.

Brought up in India and Yorkshire, the actress who Laurence Olivier described as "delicious" started her acting career as a spear-carrier at the Royal Shakespeare Company, before The Avengers catapulted her into the spotlight.

Former winners of the lifetime achievement award include Dame Maggie Smith, Katherine Hepburn and June Whitfield.

Cannes prize

Burke is currently on screen on BBC One comedy Gimme Gimme Gimme, playing the foul-mouthed Linda La Hughes.

She shot to prominence in the hit comedy series Harry Enfield and Chums, and it was Enfield who presented her with the award.

Despite her reputation as a comic actress, it was her role in the Gary Oldman-directed film Nil by Mouth which brought her to the attention of the world's media.

She won the best actress award at Cannes for her portrayal of an abused wife.

Maureen Lipman received a CBE in 1999
Maureen Lipman received a CBE in 1999
The 37-year-old has also appeared in the movies Elizabeth, Love, Honour and Obey and The Martins.

Lipman is one of Britain's most versatile actresses and has chalked up a whole host of appearances on stage and screen.

She has appeared in films ranging from Educating Rita to Carry on Columbus, but is perhaps best known for her award-winning adverts for BT.

In 1999, she was awarded the CBE for services to comedy and drama over the last three decades.

See also:

09 Oct 98 | Education
Dame Diana's new role
16 Mar 99 | Entertainment
Royal tonic for Lipman
23 Oct 00 | Business
National Theatre's poor performance
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