The Actors of Notting Hill

Dateline: June 12, 1999

The new romantic date movie by writer Richard Curtis (Blackadder, The Vicar of Dibley) is a fairy tale set in London. Similar in tone to Curtis' previous smash hit Four Weddings And A Funeral, a number of familiar British actors turn up in the new movie. Here's where you might have seen some of them on British TV before.

Hugh Grant, before becoming a major film star, made a number of TV appearances in England including 1985's Jenny's War (playing Peter Baines); The Last Place On Earth; a preacher (!) in the 1986 episode "We Love You, That's Why We're Here" of A Very Peculiar Practice; and in 1989 (a very busy year for the actor) The Lady and the Highwayman, Champagne Charlie, and Judith Krantz's Til We Meet Again. He played Richard Neville in 1991's The Trials of Oz, and just this year appeared in a special Comic Relief Dr Who sketch where he got to play the Doctor!

Emma Chambers, who plays Grant's rather ditzy sister, is probably best known (and typecast) as Alice Tinker in The Vicar of Dibley, and a similar role in the comedy series How Do You Want Me?. In the 1995 mini-series Martin Chuzzlewit she played Charity Pecksniff .

Gina McKee plays Grant's wheelchair-bound, more sensible sister. In 1996 she made a huge splash in the decades-spanning drama, Our Friends In The North. She has made various appearances in the satirical series Brass Eye, and starred in the 1997 TV movie Mothertime, she played a monster mother who eventually learns how to love her children. She had a very early guest appearance in a 1986 episode of Auf Wiedersehen Pet in a country-western bar scene (not a lot of people know that).

Tim McInnery (McKee's husband in the movie) played against type as the sinister Fiennes in 1988's A Very British Coup, but he is most recognizable for his appearances in The Black Adder, Blackadder II (as Lord Percy), and Blackadder Goes Forth (Captain Darling). He also guest starred in the hilarious Scarlet Pimpernel send-up playing the Comte d'Frufru in the Blackadder The Third episode, "Nob and Nobility." He also appeared in the 1986 drama Edge of Darkness.

James Dreyfus (Martin, Grant's employee at the bookshop), was a regular on the Rowan Atkinson comedy series The Thin Blue Line (playing Constable Goody). This year he appeared with Kathy Burke in the comedy Gimme Gimme Gimme. And in the final episode of Absolutely Fabulous, "The Last Shout," he was Christopher.

Dylan Moran makes a brief but memorable appearance in the movie as a would-be shoplifter. An Irish stand-up comedian by profession, his first series was the 1998 Simon Nye comedy How Do You Want Me? where he played an outsider trying to fit into a tiny English village.

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