11 MAY 2009

Long before Ricky Gervais and Russell Brand made their mark in the States, a sharp-witted comedienne from Slough was tickling the US sense of humour.

Now Tracey Ullman - the Berkshire lass who became one of the UK's most popular exports Stateside - has been recognised with a lifetime achievement award at the British Comedy Festival in LA.

Accepting her trophy from Sharon Osbourne the 49–year-old entertainer - who first found fame across the pond with her eponymous stand-up show - marvelled: "I've come a bloody long way from my mum's window sill - the original Tracey Ullman Show."

"I'd draw the curtains and my mum would sit in bed and I'd do a show on the window sill," Tracey, a US citizen since 2006, told an audience including Cat Deeley and fellow comic Peter Kay.

The ceremony, which was part of an annual arts week highlighting UK performers' contribution to the LA entertainment scene, followed a fun-filled cricket match, also featuring Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman.

Tracey - who once defined her feelings for her adopted homeland by saying: "I love America... I'm English and I'm American, and that's bloody great" - entertained onlookers by pretending to take a twirl round the pitch with the dance expert.

Photo: Getty Images
Twenty years after moving to the States to boost her career, the Slough-born comedienne, seen here having a giggle at the BritWeek cricket match in LA with dancer Len Goodman, has been given a lifetime achievement award
Photo: Getty Images
Fellow Brits seeing her honoured at the British Comedy Festival in America included Atlantic-hopper Russell Brand
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