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January 2011



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Palin hopes The King’s Speech will help stammer sufferers


Sunday, December 12 12:36 pm


Monty Python star Michael Palin hopes new movie The King’s Speech will help real-life stammer sufferers by highlighting the devastating effects of a speech impediment.


The veteran funnyman’s father, Edward, spent years battling a stammer and never overcame his speech problems.


And Palin, who played a man with a stammer in A Fish Called Wanda, hopes Colin Firth’s portrayal of stuttering monarch King George VI will raise awareness of the condition.


He says, I think (the film) could make an enormous difference because it’s very important to see people with stammers as just the same as anyone else. They laugh the same, they cry the same, one just has the slight problem of speaking fluently.


“It’s very important to show that a stammer isn’t just a comedy vocal touch (and that) stammerers are no different from anybody else.


“My father never recovered from it. It was quite severe, and we just took it for granted, that was the way he was and we couldn’t do anything about it.”





King’s Speech reigns at British Independent Film awards 


Colin Firth’s latest film, The King’s Speech, has won five prizes at the British Independent Film Awards.


The period drama, which earned him the best actor prize for his role as the stammering King George VI, also won best British independent film.


Carey Mulligan won the award for best actress for her role in the big-screen adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s best-seller, Never Let Me Go.


Both films will be released in the UK early next year.


Firth called The King’s Speech “an improbable story about people who could have been consigned to the footnotes of history, and nobody’s told it before.


“It was taken as a risk – somebody found the money – and I think it will pay off.”


The film also took best supporting actor honours for Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush, with an additional prize going to screenwriter David Seidler.


Yet Firth, who is attracting Oscar buzz for his role, refused to speculate on its chances during awards season.


“It could end tonight,” he said. “It’s already punched above its weight.


“It already got noticed at the festivals, it’s funnier than we thought, it has the capacity to make people cry.


“I can’t project myself into glories that aren’t in place yet.”


Bonham Carter admitted she was “slightly apprehensive” about the attention surrounding the film.


“There’s so much hype, I just hope people don’t get immensely disappointed and resent it deeply when they see it,” she told the BBC.


The awards, known as the Bifas, were hosted by actor James Nesbitt and took place at Old Billingsgate Market in London.


Bonham Carter was also presented with the Richard Harris award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film.


Elsewhere actor Liam Neeson received an award from variety magazine for his part in focusing the international spotlight on Britain.


Monster success


Carey Mulligan, Oscar nominated for last year’s An Education, said she hadn’t expected to win for Never Let Me Go.


She admitted she had told her mother to stay at home instead of joining her at the ceremony, as she had done last year.


“Now I regret that,” Mulligan said.


“But it’s at home in London where I grew up, and to have a platform to talk about our small independent films is amazing.”


Newcomer Gareth Edwards beat veteran Mike Leigh in the best director category for his low-budget film Monsters, which opened in UK cinemas this weekend.


Monsters also won awards for best achievement in production and best visual effects, created by Edwards on a computer in his bedroom.


“I always wanted to make a monster movie,” said Edwards.


“With my background in digital effects, I felt like an alien invasion and giant monsters weren’t out of the question.”


Yet he admitted feeling uncomfortable about beating the likes of Leigh, The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper and Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn.


“I didn’t want to make eye contact with anyone when I walked up there,” he said.


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