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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 14:18 GMT
Pinter drops out of Nobel lecture
Harold Pinter
Pinter is pre-recording a presentation for the occasion
Harold Pinter has been forced to pull out of the lecture given by winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature due to poor health.

However, the Nobel Foundation said a lecture pre-recorded by Pinter will be shown on a big screen at their Stockholm academy on 7 December.

The British playwright, 75, has been treated for cancer in recent years.

He had already announced publisher Stephen Page will accept the prize on his behalf on 10 December.

"His doctors have forbidden him to travel at this time," the Nobel Foundation said.

Outspoken critic

Nobel prize organisers had hoped Pinter would be able to a deliver the traditional lecture at the Swedish Academy building.

Pinter, whose plays include The Birthday Party and Betrayal, was announced as the winner of the $1.3m (723,000) cash prize in October.

The Nobel academy said his work "uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms".

But the playwright has also made his mark as an outspoken critic of US foreign policy and the war in Iraq.

A group of writers led by Pinter said recently that the cost of replacing Britain's nuclear deterrent should instead be spent on defeating poverty "at home and abroad".

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