Leading article: Love hurts

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The Independent Online

What is the "worst thing that has ever happened" to the British acting profession? Was it the murder of Christopher Marlowe? Maybe the 1737 Theatrical Licensing Act, which empowered the Lord Chamberlain's Office to censor plays? Perhaps it was the Carry On films?

No; according to David Suchet the worst thing that ever happened to the thespians of these isles is the invention of the term "luvvies".

What a wonderful coinage that was. It summons up a world of pretension, self-absorption, fussiness, neediness. It suggests cliquiness and campness. And it is resonant of the loquacious hyperbole that Mr Suchet manages to demonstrate so beautifully in his little complaint. Luvvie means Laurence Olivier, Dickie Attenborough, Brian Blessed, Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh.

The odd thing is that Mr Suchet considers luvvie to be a derogatory term and all the characteristics named above to be undesirable. What he has not grasped is that the British, well, love their luvvies and would not have them any other way. It's a moniker of affection, not contempt. The message is clear: keep it up, darlings!