Emma Thompson serenades Prince Charles at Oscars event


Actress Emma Thompson serenaded The Prince of Wales as she greeted him at a royal reception for British Academy Award winners.

The event, hosted by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, was held at St James's Palace.

"It's you! You look gorgeous," she sang.

Thompson joined a host of British acting royalty including Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Colin Firth, Jeremy Irons, Sir Michael Caine and playwright and author Ronald Harwood.

Other guests attending included Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and members of the Academy's Board of Governors.

Sir Michael raised concerns about the generation of young actors coming through the ranks.

He said: "These days they just say I'm going to an actor because I want to be rich and famous. And then they do a little part on television and everyone knows who they are. They can't really act."

"I knew I wasn't going to be rich, I knew I wasn't going to be famous, I knew I wasn't going to be a movie star, I just wanted to be a good actor, that's all."

Sir Michael is one of just two actors - the other being Jack Nicholson - to have been nominated for an Oscar in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s.

He won his first supporting actor award for Hannah And Her Sisters and his second for The Cider House Rules.

Talking about a host of stars who find fame at a young age, he said: "They're very young now. I was 30 before I became well known. I've watched it ruin people. By the time they're 30, they're through."

Dame Judi described the lack of funds available to train young actors as "worrying".

She said: "I think it's worrying that training is so expensive. I must have, I don't know how many letters a week from young actors wanting to get to drama school and not having the money to get them through."

Despite seven nominations, Dame Judi has only won one Academy Award - she was named best supporting actress for her eight-minute role as Elizabeth I in Shakespeare In Love.

She said she thought the event was "wonderful", adding that when she won her Oscar she did not have the chance to meet the other winners in the same year.

Asked about the secret to her success and that of other British talent, she joked: "It's called good luck.

"We have good training and we've got incredible young people who are trained in everything, they can dance and sing and act on the stage."

More than 300 British artists and filmmakers have been awarded Oscars over a 45-year period of film production.

Boone Isaacs described Prince Charles as "charming, he really was, so relaxed, so lovely".

She said British talent thrived due to a "commitment to training and the craft and creative".