Gielgud: still shy after 93 years

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Sir John Gielgud yesterday confessed to being acutely shy - more than 70 years after subjecting himself to continual public scrutiny.

Receiving The Talkies award yesterday from the book cassette industry for outstanding achievement, the 93-year-old actor said: "I am fearfully self-conscious - I cannot wait to get the make-up and costume on and become someone else.

"When audience participation came in ... I didn't like it at all. I hate playing in theatres in the round because you see people's faces across the stage." His next role is as the Pope in a film based on the life of Elizabeth I.

- David Lister,

Arts News Editor