Dogs have their day at inaugural Fido film awards

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LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) And the winners are ... Poppy, Anna, Oliver and Megan.

Actress Helen Mirren has been garlanded with awards for her portrayal of Britain's Queen Elizabeth in the film ''The Queen'' and now her corgi co-stars have won two awards at the Fidos -- www.thefidos.com.

At the world's first international awards for canine film stars, given out at a ceremony at the London Film Festival on Sunday, the four corgis were named as the Best Historical Hounds as well as picking up a Best in the World prize.

''I know one should avoid acting with animals and children, but these little chaps were a pleasure to work with and deserve all the plaudits for their fine performances,'' Mirren, who is currently filming in the United States, said in a statement.

The corgis are owned by retired caterer Liz Smith -- dubbed Corgi Liz on the film set of ''The Queen'' -- who lives near Ipswich in east England.

Their success at the Fidos takes to 59 the tally of Oscars, Baftas and other major awards received by ''The Queen''.

The corgi breed completed an impressive hat-trick at the Fidos when American Travis -- a Welsh cardigan corgi -- was named Best Comedy Canine for ''Year of the Dog''.

The awards were presented by Oscar-nominated Chariots of Fire director Hugh Hudson, James Bond co-star Maryam D'Abo, journalist Carol Thatcher, actor Christopher Biggins and designer Lulu Guinness.

The Fidos are the brainchild of journalist Toby Rose, who awards the Palme Dog at the Cannes Film festival to the year's finest canine performance on screen.

''Dogs have truly come in from the cold for this first event of its kind in what has been a hotly contested contest,'' said Rose.

Queen Elizabeth has owned more than 30 corgis during her 55-year reign.

REUTERS SZ PM0455

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