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The BBC's Rebecca Couper
"The great escape with feathers"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 27 June, 2000, 21:13 GMT 22:13 UK
Connery coup for Chicken Run
Connery at premiere
Sean Connery said he had simply come to watch the film
Movie legend Sean Connery made a rare UK public appearance on Tuesday night to attend the premiere of the animated movie Chicken Run.

The 69-year-old former 007 actor, who lives in the Bahamas and Los Angeles, arrived in a blue suit with wife Micheline for the screening of the film at the Odeon Cinema in London's Leicester Square.

Chicken Run screen shot
Film tells of a PoW-style escape from a chicken farm
Chicken Run marks the big screen debut of Wallace and Gromit creators Nick Park and Peter Lord.

Quizzed on his unexpected public appearance, Connery, a personal guest of the movie's executive producer, Jake Eberts, said simply: "I'm here to see the film."

Top of the pecking order in terms of style at the screening were two human-sized fluffy "chickens", which posed with the actors who provided voices for the film.

Oscar-winning animator Park said Chicken Run - which flew into the US box office at No 2 last weekend, taking $11.5m - was a labour of love.

Free range

Commenting on the problems encountered in animating the plasticine poultry, he joked: "It was the biggest mistake we ever made: making a film about chickens. It's so hard."

Also at the premiere were "stars" of the film including Miranda Richardson and ex-Absolutely Fabulous actress Julia Sawalha, who arrived with acting father Nadim and sister Nadia.

Nick Park
Nick Park and a feathered friend
Asked if the film, which tells of an escape attempt by a group of chickens trapped on a farm, had put her off eating poultry, Richardson said: "To be honest it didn't, but I go for free range."

Sawalha said the hardest thing about making the movie was having to spend long periods of time acting by herself. She said: "After four hours in the sound room, I get sick of the sound of my own voice really."

Other stars of the film who attended were former Auf Wiedersehen Pet star Timothy Spall and Quadrophenia actor Phil Daniels.

Composer Sir Tim Rice, Pink Floyd front-man Dave Gilmour, ex-Formula One driver Damon Hill, England rugby player Rory Underwood, girl-band Precious, comedian Phill Jupitus and TV film critic Mariella Frostrup were also present.

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See also:

23 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Chicken Run sets US flapping
26 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Carrey sends Chickens running
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