NOTTING HILL star Rhys Ifans is thrilled he overcame his insecurities and agreed to play comic legend Peter Cook in British TV drama NOT ONLY BUT ALWAYS - because the brave decision has earned him a BAFTA TV Award.

The Welsh actor was overwhelmed last night (17APR05) when he was named Best Actor for his part in the popular series - which documented the late funnyman's stormy relationship with his comedy partner DUDLEY MOORE - because he never believed he could do Cook's memory justice.

Ifans told the audience at London's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, "Winning is a relief. Being nominated is the award. The other three actors nominated, I saw each of their performances and never thought that this would happen. The nomination is the prize, this is the lucky bag.

"I was a fan of Peter Cook, I was frightened of doing this role, I turned it down several times, but was finally persuaded by the writer and director of the film. The writing was the initial thing that broke my will.

"I didn't have to learn any lines for tonight, so it wasn't nerve-wracking. It was funny, weird and strange, and now I want a drink."

18/04/2005 14:08