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Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson, actress, writer, campaigner and general good egg, has reached the stage of her career when she is being referred to as a national treasure. But except in her Nanny McPhee guise she can still stir the heart more than a little. With Oscars for both acting and writing she could be forgiven for turning starry, but never does; and her activism (unlike some of her contemporaries) is palpably sincere and practical. Ms Thompson is though our hero for the quality of her acting work: she shone in the best Shakespeare adaptation for decades (Much Ado About Nothing); politely stole the show in Love Actually; and was the perfect Austinian heroine in Sense and Sensibility. A gem.

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Irish Catholic Uprising - 1641, Battle of Trafalgar - 1805, First Women Peers Enter Lords - 1958, 1st British Nuclear Powered Sub launched - 1960, The Aberfan Disaster - 1966
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