Page last updated at 09:38 GMT, Monday, 17 November 2008

Variety Club honours actor Caine

Sir Michael Caine with Lady Shakira
Sir Michael paid tribute to his wife of 35 years, Lady Shakira Caine

Veteran movie actor Sir Michael Caine has been honoured for his outstanding contribution to showbusiness at the Variety Club Awards in London.

The 75-year-old dedicated his award to his wife, Lady Shakira, and thanked the charity for its "extraordinary" work.

Noel Edmonds was named showbusiness personality of the year, with other prizes going to James McAvoy, Kenneth Branagh and comics Mitchell and Webb.

Cilla Black, David Walliams and Lee Mead were among the celebrity guests.

Impressionist Jon Culshaw hosted the ceremony, to be broadcast on Sky One on 30 November.

Founded in 1949, the Variety Club of Great Britain raises money for sick, disabled and disadvantaged children.

'Privilege'

McAvoy, recipient of this year's film prize, said he believed it was the first award he had ever received from a charitable organisation.

"To be associated with them and recognised by them is an absolute privilege," said the Scottish star of Wanted and Atonement.

Robert Webb and David Mitchell
Webb and Mitchell joked they should have received a statuette each
Branagh, recognised for his stage performance in Ivanov, echoed his sentiments, saying he was "honoured and proud" to win one of the evening's distinctive silver hearts.

Alan Carr was named TV Presenter of the Year, while New Zealand-born singer Hayley Westenra won the classical performer award.

Additional prizes were presented to Hollywood actor Al Pacino, West End musical Hairspray and Merlin star Colin Morgan, winner of the Caron Keating award for outstanding new talent.

The Armagh-born actor said he was pleased to accept an accolade named after the late TV presenter, who also hailed from Northern Ireland.

Gloria Hunniford, Keating's mother, was among a star-studded audience that also included the actors John Hurt, Simon Pegg and Sir Ben Kingsley.



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