Acting couple plan champagne celebration after both collected royal honours

Adrian Lester and his wife Lolita Chakrabarti collected the honours at Windsor Castle.

Nina Lloyd
Wednesday 30 March 2022 17:39
Adrian Lester and Lolita Chakrabarti (Steve Parsons/PA)
Adrian Lester and Lolita Chakrabarti (Steve Parsons/PA)

Olivier Award-winning star Adrian Lester and his wife Lolita Chakrabarti will celebrate with a vintage bottle of champagne at their family home after both collecting royal honours at Windsor Castle, the acting couple said.

The Trigger Point actor collected a CBE while Chakrabarti, who has adapted Booker Prize-winning novel The Life Of Pi for the West End, picked up an OBE during an investiture ceremony on Wednesday.

“It was really nice to get this. We found out we would be together and we’re really pleased,” Lester said.

“I think I’ll have to bow to (Adrian) every time I see him now, or will he have to curtsy to me?” Chakrabarti joked.

Adrian Lester and Lolita Chakrabarti with daughter Jasmine Chakrabarti (Steve Parsons/PA)

“We have a vintage bottle of champagne that (Adrian) bought for me on an opening night, and I kept thinking ‘it’s got to be something really special’, so we’re going to open that.”

Lester paid tribute to his “fantastic” Trigger Point co-star Vicky McClure and said the cast were a “really fun group of guys” who kept spirits up on set during long shoots.

He said the chemistry on-screen had been genuine, explaining: “We have a Trigger Point WhatsApp group.

“They’re brilliant, a really fun group of guys and we got on really well.

“There’s a lot of sitting around and standing around so we made each other laugh and it kept spirits up.”

He added: “Vicky was fantastic. She was a great team leader. She was almost in every scene in every episode and she’s really, really good at setting a good tone for everybody on set.”

Adrian Lester and Lolita Chakrabarti with the Princess Royal at Windsor Castle (Yui Mok/PA)

Reflecting on other roles throughout his career, Lester said there were hidden similarities between many of the different characters he had played.

Both the heroic bomb disposal operative Joel Nutkins, who Lester played in Jed Mercurio’s Trigger Point, and his character of a conman in Hustle were “good guys” underneath, the actor said.

“Even on Hustle, I think you wanted us to win because everyone we tried to con was a bad person. We were like Robin Hoods, except we kept all the money ourselves and spent it on expensive suits.”

Lester appeared alongside Saoirse Ronan in 2018’s Mary Queen Of Scots as Lord Randolph and has received a Laurence Olivier Award, an Evening Standard Theatre Award and a Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for his work on the London stage.

Chakrabarti is an actor and writer whose credits include ITV’s Vera and a production of Hamlet directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh.

They were among a total of 187 high-achievers to be honoured in the ceremonies at Windsor hosted by the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal on Wednesday.

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