3 MAY 2007

While one of Britain's best loved footballers was celebrating his birthday across town, UK-based comedienne-turned-TV presenter Ruby Wax had her own party to attend. And joining her at London Japanese eatery Unu on Wednesday night was the crème of British acting talent.

She may have been on crutches due to a recent toe operation, but nothing was going to stop the feisty American star from enjoying her special night.

It was a belated event for Ruby, who turned 54 on April 19, and she was clearly more than happy to put memories of her real age behind her as she celebrated amidst balloons emblazoned with the slogan 'Happy 21st'.

"I can't believe people proudly announce their 40th or, oh my God, their 50th birthdays," says the comedienne, who recently lent her voice to animated adventure Agent Crush.

The youthful party decorations were certainly a hit with period drama actress Helena Bonham-Carter, who took one of them home with her. Currently busy lensing Sweeney Todd, the latest flick from her partner Tim Burton, mum-of-one Helena got to catch up with her A Merry War co-star Richard E Grant at the do. The Withnail and I actor is busy these days, too, filming a remake of the schoolgirl caper St Trinians.

Other British TV stars helping Ruby celebrate included fellow comic Ade Edmonson, of The Young Ones fame, and Harry Potter co-stars Alan Rickman and Zoe Wanamaker.

Photo: ©
The birthday girl, on crutches after surgery to her toe, celebrated her big day with some of Britain's best-loved screen starsClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Among the guests was Tim Burton's partner, Helena Bonham Carter, who is currently filming her love's latest big screen offering