Much-loved actor Colin Firth scooped the most prestigious prize of his career at the weekend when he was named best actor at the Venice film festival.
Best known for his role as Mr Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Pride And Prejudice and subsequently in the Bridget Jones series, the actor earned the prize for his performance as a gay academic in his new film, A Single Man.
Colin, who is married to Italian actress Livia Giuggioli, was directed in the flick by fashion designer Tom Ford in his film debut.
"I rarely seem to come home from Italy empty-handed – wine, balsamic vinegar, wife, two children, and now a nice piece of silverware," quipped the actor after winning the prize.
The win is "possibly the greatest honour of my life," said the 49-year-old, who has never before won a major gong despite receiving Bafta nominations for his parts in Pride And Prejudice and Bridget Jones's Diary.
Photo: ę Rex