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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 January 2007, 10:08 GMT
Old guard out for Venus premiere
Leslie Phillips
Phillips has been making films for 70 years
Oscar hopefuls Peter O'Toole and Leslie Phillips have attended the UK premiere of their latest film Venus.

In the movie O'Toole, 74, and Phillips, 82, play veteran English actors who have never hit the big time.

In real life both have received Bafta nominations this year and O'Toole is expected to make the Oscars shortlist.

"I've made something like 30 films and this comes up very high in my estimation," said Phillips before the screening in King's Road, London.

Venus also features British newcomer Jodie Whittaker, who makes her big screen debut shortly after her appearance in the one-off return of TV show This Life.

Jodie Whittaker
24-year-old Jodie Whittaker makes her big screen debut in Venus
She plays Phillips' troublesome great-niece, who arrives in London and forms a touching relationship with O'Toole's character.


"It's wonderful working with young people," said O'Toole at Monday's premiere.

"When you find someone like Jodie who is not only young but able you want to grab it and eat it."

Phillips joked that O'Toole's film relationship with Whittaker began to spill over into real life.

"He had a tent on set and he wouldn't invite me in it, only Jodie," he laughed.

Venus, which opens on 26 January, is written by Hanif Kureishi and directed by Notting Hill film-maker Roger Michell.

It is the pair's third collaboration, following TV drama My Beautiful Laundrette and Bafta-nominated film The Mother.

Also attending the premiere were rock star Bryan Ferry, actor Richard Griffiths and musician Corrine Bailey Rae.

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