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Tuesday, 13 June, 2000, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Spall and Steadman collect OBEs
Alison Steadman and Timothy Spall
Alison Steadman and Timothy Spall with their OBEs
Actor Timothy Spall, best known for his roles in Auf Wiederhesen, Pet and Life Is Sweet, has received the OBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Spall, 43, who was also in Mike Leigh's film Secrets and Lies, said the ceremony was more nerve-wracking than any of the roles he has taken on.

"I have acted with plenty of people playing the Queen, especially in Shakespeare, but I have never met the real Queen before," he added.

Actress Alison Steadman, 53, who worked with Spall on Life Is Sweet and appeared in Abigail's Party and The Singing Detective, also received an OBE.

"I am absolutely thrilled, it is a great honour to be here," she said.


Ex-Spandau star's movie comeback

Former Spandau Ballet star Gary Kemp has landed a role as a crime lord in the new British comedy, Dog Eat Dog - marking something of a comeback.

After starring roles in The Krays (with brother Martin), The Bodyguard (with Kevin Costner) and heist caper Killing Zoe, his acting career floundered.

Dog Eat Dog will also feature Jonathan Creek star Alan Davies in his first big screen role and All Saint Melanie Blatt - who made her film debut in Honest.


Llewelyn death accidental

James Bond actor Desmond Llewelyn died in a head-on crash while overtaking another car on his way to a book signing session, an inquest has heard.

The 85-year-old, who played James Bond's gadget inventor Q in 17 of the films, died on December 19 last year while driving on the A27 near Lewes.

The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death. Llewelyn's son Justin said: "We are slightly surprised by the evidence but are glad it is all over."


Carrey film angers mental health group

A new Jim Carrey comedy about a man whose two personalities are in love with the same woman has angered mental health campaigners in the US.

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill says Me, Myself and Irene shows "gross ignorance and insensitivity" to people with mental illnesses.

The group also accused the film, which is due to open in the UK this August, of perpetuating "a myth that schizophrenia is a split personality".


Elton John 'snapped' in Oxford Street

Sir Elton John accompanied Lulu to the celebrity unveilling of a giant photo of himself, in London's Oxford Street.

The panoramic frieze by Sam Taylor-Wood spans the entire facade of Selfridges store and depicts 21 famous celebrities including pop legend Elton.

"I think it's brilliant," said John. "It's great to have things like this in London on buildings." Other stars featured include Richard E Grant, Ray Winstone and Jodie Kidd.


Fierce look for new member

All-girl group Fierce are searching for a new member after the departure of Aisha Peters.

The singer has quit the group to "pursue other interests" with remaining members Chantal Alleyne and Sabrina Weathers now negotiating a new record deal.

Fierce made it to number three in the charts in February with their cover version of Anita Baker's Sweet Love. They have also had top 20 hits with Dayz Like That and So Long.

New vocalists are now being auditioned after the amicable split.


Pony beats Royles to best comedy award

Sketch show Smack The Pony beat The Royle Family to the Best Comedy title at Canada's Banff Rockie Awards.

The shows were among numerous British productions nominated during the country's TV festival.

Made by Talkback Productions for C4, Smack The Pony stars Sally Philips, Fiona Allenand, Don MacKichan

In total, 30% of shows nominated at the festival were partly or wholly made in the UK - more than any other country apart from the United States.


BBC executive on watchdog role

Senior BBC executive Patricia Hodgson has been appointed as the new head of television watchdog the ITC.

Hodgson, who is currently the BBC's director of policy, will take up her post at the Independent Television Commission in September.

Her appointement comes as broadcasting regulators themselves are set to come under the spotlight in proposed shake-up of communications legislation.

She said she was looking forward to examining how the commercial sector should work in the digital age.

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See also:

24 Sep 98 | Entertainment
Carrey recovers from attack
08 May 00 | Entertainment
Sir Elton gets the big picture
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