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Last Updated: Monday, 23 February, 2004, 10:40 GMT
TV host Kelly wins theatre award
Matthew Kelly with the coveted award
Matthew Kelly: Triumph after a tough time
Television presenter Matthew Kelly has won the best actor title at the prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards.

Stars in Their Eyes host Kelly received the award for his role in Of Mice and Men at a London Hilton ceremony.

Jerry Springer - The Opera won four awards, including best new musical and best musical actor for David Bedella.

Eileen Atkins took the best actress prize for her role in Honour, and Dame Judi Dench received the Special Award for her contribution to theatre.

The awards, organised by the Society of London Theatre, gave an outstanding achievement prize to the Young Vic, for what judges called an "audacious" season under artistic director David Lan.

It's been a fantastic journey this year
Matthew Kelly

The Waterloo-based theatre has just launched a redevelopment appeal, championed by actor Jude Law.

TV presenter Clive Anderson handed out the awards at a ceremony at the London Hilton hotel.

Kelly's triumph comes after a tough time for the actor.

Kelly comeback

He was arrested in January last year after accusations he had sexually abused a boy in the 1970s.

He denied the allegations, and was cleared by police the following month.

Since then, critics and audiences have praised his role as Lenny in Of Mice and Men as the production toured the UK.

Accepting his award, he paid tribute to his wife Sarah and the rest of the cast.

"I would like to thank the whole of the Birmingham Rep for their support. Without them I would never have got through this year.

"It's been a fantastic journey this year and I would like to thank you all. It means a lot."

Jerry Springer - The Opera's other prizes were best new musical, best supporting role for its 27-strong chorus, and best sound design.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Jenny McCudden
"Tonight he vowed to put the past behind him"



SEE ALSO:
Kelly triumphs to reclaim spotlight
23 Feb 04  |  Entertainment
Olivier awards deny 'pressure'
17 Feb 04  |  Entertainment
Kelly's comeback performance
26 Feb 03  |  Entertainment
Law's bid to rebuild Young Vic
10 Feb 04  |  London


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