24 FEBRUARY 2008

He's considered one of the greats of the British acting world and this weekend, Sir Anthony Hopkins paid tribute to one of his heroes – the late Tommy Cooper.

Unveiling a 9ft high bronze statue of the comedian, Sir Anthony revealed how proud he was to be at the ceremony.

"It is a pleasure to be here – Tommy Cooper is a comedy legend and I've always been a fan," said The Silence Of The Lambs star. "The wonderful thing about him is simplicity – his one-line jokes still have me in stitches."

Welshman Sir Anthony, the patron of the Tommy Cooper Society, flew from his home in Los Angeles for the ceremony in Caerphilly.

As he revealed the statue, the man who scared millions of cinemagoers as Hannibal Lector couldn't resist pulling on a red fez. He then thrilled the crowd with his impersonations of the comedian.

Tommy, who died on stage of a heart attack 24 years ago, was born in Caerphilly in 1921.

Photo: ©
Donning a red fez, the Oscar-winning actor entertained the crowds with a sample of Tommy Cooper jokes Photo: © Getty Images Click on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
The Welsh actor spent more than an hour signing autographs and having his photo taken with fans Photo: © Getty Images
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