20 JULY 2007

It seems David Beckham isn't the only UK export making headlines across the pond. Home-grown acting stars are also in the US news after receiving Emmy award nominations which will see them facing off against American TV network big guns.

Among the nominees announced this week is Oxford-born thesp Hugh Laurie, up for the outstanding lead actor in a drama series for his portrayal of maverick medic Doctor Gregory House. Three years ago the dad-of-three was virtually unknown in the US. These days he ranks in the same league as big screen star Kiefer Sutherland, nominated for his role as agent Jack Bauer on 24.

Also making the list for his comedy series Extras was Reading's Ricky Gervais. The 46-year-old goes up against Alec Baldwin - nominated for 30 Rock - and Charlie Sheen, the protagonist of Two And A Half Men in the lead actor in a comedy category. If he takes home a trophy from this year's September 16 ceremony, it will be Ricky's third Emmy win. He's previously been recognised on two occasions for The Office.

Someone who can already lay claim to the triple whammy feat is Prime Suspect actress Helen Mirren, who lists three Emmy victories among her not inconsiderable collection of acting honours. Nominated for lead actress in a miniseries or TV movie for her role in the gritty UK police drama she will need to see off competition from Debra Messing, for comedy The Starter Wife, and Queen Latifah, who received a nod for hard-hitting Life Support.

The prize for outstanding lead actor in a mini series or a TV movie could also be taken home by a Brit. English actor Jim Broadbent - recognised for his role as a campaigning peer in Longford - is up against Robert Duvall, nominated for cowboy flick Broken Trail, and Matthew Perry, whose portrayal of a passionate and innovative teacher in The Ron Clark Story earned him his nod.

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The Oxford-born actor - nominated for his portrayal of maverick medic Dr Gregory House - is just one of the British talents competing for against high profile US stars for the prestigious TV awards
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Reading-born Ricky will go head to head against Alec Baldwin and Charlie Sheen with his comedy series Extras
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Meanwhile, Helen Mirren - whose gritty police drama Prime Suspect aired in the US this year - is up against Queen Latifah and Debra Messing for lead actress in a miniseries or TV movie
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