Couple reunited in Bafta award nominations

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The Independent Online
Ralph Fiennes, star of the acclaimed new film The English Patient, and his estranged wife, Alex Kingston (right), star of ITV's adaptation of Moll Flanders, have both been nominated for Bafta awards, Britain's Oscars for film and television. Since the couple split up, Fiennes has been romantically linked with the actress Francesca Annis.

The English Patient, a wartime love story also starring the Briton Kristin Scott Thomas, has been nominated for 13 British Academy awards - one more than the Oscar nominations earlier this month.

Its director, Anthony Minghella, is honoured in the best film, best director and best adapted screenplay categories. A spokesman for Mr Minghella said: "It really is a tremendous tribute to the effort everyone put in to making this film. It was a huge struggle."

The English Patient nearly did not get made because its finance disappeared a matter of days before filming in Italy began.

Other film actors and directors shortlisted include the director Mike Leigh, and Brenda Blethyn and Timothy Spall for Secrets and Lies, Sir Ian McKellen for his title role performance in Richard III, Shine star Geoffrey Rush and the veteran Paul Scofield for The Crucible. In the television section, Alex Kingston is joined by Prime Suspect 5 star Helen Mirren, Pauline Quirke for The Sculptress, and Gina McKee for Our Friends In the North, in the best actress category.

The BBC's Our Friends In the North has been recognised twice in the best television actor slot, with Peter Vaughan and Chris Eccleston nominated.

David Lister