The Sony Ericsson Empire Awards 2008

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The Winners

Empire Icon Award
Ewan McGregor

Ewan McGregor on stage to collect the Empire Icon Award

The Acceptance Speech
"Thank you very much. Thank you very much. I would really like to have a round of applause for Chiwitel's beard that we just saw which has sadly gone now, it was quite a monster. I worked opposite for three months and we watched it grow, how wonderful his beard was.

"In my second year at drama school, I saved up and brought two tickets to see a play at The Old Vic, my mum came down to visit and I took her to see a play called A Flea In Her Ear that Jim was in and after it I remember saying to her - I was absolutely blown away by it, it was an incredible performance. Afterwards I remember saying to her, 'Mum, can you ever imagine working with an actor like Jim Broadbent, wouldn't that be amazing'. Some years later, I was sitting in an airport lounge waiting to go over to Australia waiting to do my first wave of rehearsals on Moulin Rouge and Jim tapped me on the shoulder. I said to him, 'Jim where are you going?' He said, 'I'm going to Australia'. 'What Sydney?' 'Yes, I'm making a film with you, you cunt!' And indeed we did.

"I've been so lucky to work with a great many talented and passionate actors and directors and occasionally producers and so I'd like to thank you all. I'd like to thank everyone at Empire who have been so kind to me over the years and I'd like to thank your readers.

"I married just after we finished making Trainspotting and she's been with me throughout this entire journey and I wouldn't have been able to do it without you so thank you very much.

"Lastly but not leastly, as an actor you're lucky if you form creative partnerships, sometimes you can work with a director over and over again but it's rare, sometimes you do and then you don't any more. In my career, the one lasting partnership I've had since I left drama school at 19 to this day and onwards is with my wonderful agent Linda King who can't be here tonight, I'd just like to say that I love her and I thank her very much. Thank you very much."

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