18 NOVEMBER 2008

Onlookers weren't put off by the title of the film premiering before the Queen this week. Leicester Square was packed with fans keen to catch a glimpse of the stars of A Bunch Of Amateurs.

And they weren't disappointed as the top notch cast, headed by Cranford's Imelda Staunton, Samantha Bond, aka Bond's Moneypenny, and Sir Derek Jacobi, all turned up on the red carpet.

The actresses greeted the monarch - who was elegant in a rose pink gown with beaded bodice - with deep curtseys.

To the amusement of the actors Prince Philip wanted to know if there'd been any fallings out on set. "He asked if we were still talking to one another, which is quite funny as Derek, Imelda and I have been bosom buddies for years," said Samantha.

Burt Reynolds also appears in the comedy, as an ageing Hollywood actor tricked into playing King Lear in an amateur play in Suffolk, thinking it is a grand production in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Photo: ©
When the royals met the cast of A Bunch Of Amateurs - Derek Jacobi, Samantha Bond and Imelda Staunton - Prince Philip in his typically frank way wanted to know if there'd been any on-set friction Photo: © PA
Photo: ©
Cranford actress Imelda Staunton had invited a special guest along - her daughter Bessie Photo: © Rex
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