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Showcasing a newly svelte figure and blonde hairdo, Gillian Anderson led the red carpet roster of stars at the British Independent Film Awards in London on Tuesday.

The X-Files star, swathed in a halter-neck white satin gown, was beautifully backed in the glamour stakes by fellow actress Amanda Holden, who also had the flashbulbs blazing outside the Hammersmith Palais when she made her entrance in a romantic multi-coloured frock and orange pumps.

The big winner at the event was Mike Leigh's critically acclaimed movie Vera Drake, which centres on a back street abortionist in 1950s London. The movie swept the boards, scooping a total of six gongs including best film and director - while stars Phil Davis and Imelda Staunton were awarded best actor and best actress respectively.

Bob Hoskins, the star of films including The Long Good Friday and Mona Lisa, took home the 2004 Richard Harris award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film.

Also reigning triumphant were Korean film Oldboy which beat Fahrenheit 9/11 for the best foreign independent film prize, and Irishman John Crowley, who won the debut director award for Intermission.

Gillian Anderson led the red carpet roster at the Hammersmith Palais on Tuesday
Photo: PA
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Amanda at the indie awards ceremony that saw Mike Leigh's latest film Vera Drake take home six gongs
Photo: PA