Belfast Telegraph

Comedian Mel Brooks honoured ahead of debut solo show

By Robert Dex

Oscar-winning comic Mel Brooks has been honoured with the British Film Institute's highest honour ahead of his debut solo show in the capital.

The actor and writer, who won an Oscar in 1968 for his work writing the screenplay for The Producers, accepted the BFI Fellowship at an event in London.

Brooks, whose career includes film hits Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and High Anxiety, joins other recipients of the award including Orson Welles, Sir Christopher Lee and Martin Scorsese.

Brooks was also behind the cult TV show Get Smart about a hapless secret agent with a phone in his shoe which satirised the James Bond genre.

He was married to the actress Anne Bancroft, who played Mrs Robinson in the Graduate, from 1964 until her death in 2005.

He said: "I am deeply honoured to be the recipient of the BFI Fellowship and to be inducted into such distinguished company. When I was informed that I had been chosen, I was surprised and delighted.

Not many Americans have been offered this prestigious award... and for good reason."

Greg Dyke, who chairs the BFI, said: "We are thrilled to honour Mel Brooks with a BFI Fellowship.

"His brilliant wit and satire have continued to surprise and delight and, sometimes, astonish, as he delights in flouting convention, taking comedy to areas once held taboo.

"Mel's irrepressible energy and dazzling originality have made the world a much funnier place."

Brooks plays a solo show at London's Prince Of Wales Theatre tomorrow.

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