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Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson, actress, writer, campaigner and general good egg, has reached the stage of her career when she is being referred to as a national treasure. But except in her Nanny McPhee guise she can still stir the heart more than a little. With Oscars for both acting and writing she could be forgiven for turning starry, but never does; and her activism (unlike some of her contemporaries) is palpably sincere and practical. Ms Thompson is though our hero for the quality of her acting work: she shone in the best Shakespeare adaptation for decades (Much Ado About Nothing); politely stole the show in Love Actually; and was the perfect Austinian heroine in Sense and Sensibility. A gem.

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Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. - Diana Spencer
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Battle of Stratton - 1643, Boswell First Meets Dr Johnson - 1763, The Sykes-Picot Agreement - 1916, Dambusters Raid - 1943
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