Woman behind King's Speech won't be at Oscars

The theatre agent who discovered the script for The King's Speech and was instrumental in casting one of its lead actors will not attend this month's Academy Awards, where the film is expected to sweep the board.

Joan Lane discovered screenwriter David Seidler's The King's Speech in January 2006 and helped secure the services of Geoffrey Rush. But she said yesterday she would not attend the Hollywood ceremony, where the film is nominated for 12 awards. Her admission follows reports of a rift between Lane and the film's producers, British production companies, Bedlam Productions and See Saw Films, over who deserves the credit for the film. The King's Speech won seven gongs at the Baftas earlier this week.

"I'd rather enjoy it from home with family, break open some Champagne and enjoy watching it on television," said Lane.

Lane, founder of Wild Thyme Productions, denied rumours there was a rift between her and the film-makers, saying she had a script currently being considered by the Weinstein Company and was working with Bedlam Productions on further projects. She said she had been overwhelmed with scripts since the film's success.