Dame Helen's corgis lap up all the attention ahead of 'Canine Oscars'

Amol Rajan
Wednesday 17 October 2007 00:00
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With an Oscar, two Golden Globes, two Baftas and a host of other awards to its name, it seemed that The Queen had already received ample recognition for its cinematic success.

But now Stephen Frears' 2006 film, starring Dame Helen Mirren as the Queen in the weeks after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, looks set to scoop yet another award. This one, though, is just for dogs.

But that is no obstacle for one set of canine actors hoping to win the Historical Hound title (best dog in a film set in bygone days) at this month's "Fido" awards, which were created by the British journalist Toby Rose. Liz Smith, a retired caterer from Little Blakenham, near Ipswich, is convinced her five corgis deserve their own brand of doggie recognition. "They are fantastically sharp, obedient, and kind dogs. I think they performed brilliantly in the film," said Ms Smith, who became known as Corgi Liz on set. "I don't know too much about their competition, but I'm confident they'll win."

The corgis – Anna, nine, Poppy, seven, and her three puppies, Megan, Alice, and Oliver – are up against tough competition. The brown hunting dog who chases the eponymous hero of Moliere out of a window is one strong candidate, but so too is the collie-cross owned by Samantha Morton's character in Control.

Dame Helen said recently: "I loved those corgis because they were funny. I can understand why the Queen has them. Forget winning an Oscar, I'd be more proud of an award for dog handling."

The inaugural award ceremony, on 28 October, also includes categories such as Cupcake Cinema (best dog in a short film), Blockbuster Bowser (best achievement in an action flick), and Comedy Canine (best pooch in a romcom).

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