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Last Updated: Friday, 14 October 2005, 08:42 GMT 09:42 UK
Queen attends ITV's 50 reception
The Queen with comedian Frank Skinner
Frank Skinner (r) was among the guests introduced to the Queen
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have attended a celebratory dinner to mark ITV's 50th anniversary.

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, Chris Tarrant and Coronation Street cast members were among those at the gala reception at London's Guildhall.

It is one of a series of events marking 50 years since ITV became the UK's first commercial channel.

The first show to be screened on the channel's debut night in September 1955 was a live ceremony at the Guildhall.

Cast members from Emmerdale and The Bill were also among the guests.

'Big fan'

Actress Liz Dawn - Vera Duckworth in Coronation Street - was one of the first to meet the Queen.

"The Queen said she can't believe the show has been running for 45 years and asked when the anniversary for that was," she said.

The Queen with Coronation Street actress Liz Dawn
Her Majesty also met Coronation Street star Liz Dawn (r)
This Morning host Philip Schofield also shared a few moments with Her Majesty.

"She said she was a big fan and that she absolutely loves it," he said.

"I found myself saying 'Thank you so much for coming'," added co-presenter Fern Britton.

But presenter Ant McPartlin said the Queen was not quite so familiar with his work.

"She asked 'How are you involved?', and I said, 'We're ITV entertainers and we do things like go to the rainforest.'"

This Morning hosts Philip Schofield and Fern Britton
The Queen is a fan of Fern Britton and Philip Schofield

Other events organised to celebrate ITV's landmark included the unveiling last month of the Avenue of Stars, the UK's answer to Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

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

Former ITV news presenters including Selina Scott and Gordon Honeycombe returned to the network's bulletins for a night each, while hour long-special episodes of Emmerdale and The Bill were broadcast on 22 September - 50 years to the day from ITV's first night.


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