Corgis up for Oscar
DAME HELEN Mirren is not the only movie star likely to be given an Oscar for her sterling performance as the Queen.
Her canine co-stars are also hoping to take home their very own doggie Oscars. The five A-list corgis - Anna, Poppy, Megan, Alice and Oliver - from Little Blakenham, Suffolk have been nominated for a Fido Award - the first ‘canine Oscar’ awards ceremony of its kind in the UK.
The talented dogs are owned by Liz Smith, a retired outside caterer, who became known as Corgi Liz on set.
‘It's been a whirlwind. I'm in shock, walking round and round just trying to get my head round the news,’ she said. ‘At the time, no one knew how popular this film was going to be, not even Helen Mirren. We still can't believe how big it's got.’
Mrs Smith and her husband, retired lorry driver Colin, were approached to help with the film after her dogs were spotted at an obedience competition by an animal consultant for film and television.
The corgis featured-prominently in the film, which dealt with the immediate aftermath of the death of Princess Diana in 1997, and are now joint contenders in the Historical Hound category.
If the dogs succeed in their bid for critical recognition, director Stephen Frears will be able to add the pack of four-legged actors to the long list of those who have already been saluted with Baftas, Golden Globes and Oscars for their part in the film.
The Fidos are the brainchild of journalist Toby Rose, who annually awards the Palme Dog at the Cannes Film festival to the finest canine performance on screen.
Other contenders for the awards include dogs featured in The Holiday, Year of the Dog and Shoot'em Up.
The Suffolk corgis will be attending the event on Sunday October 28 on London's Southbank.