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Firth 'a cert' for best actor Oscar

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Colin Firth has been nominated for the Best Actor Award at the Oscars

Colin Firth has been nominated for the Best Actor Award at the Oscars

Colin Firth has been nominated for the Best Actor Award at the Oscars

Colin Firth heads to the Oscars "as close as you can get to a dead cert" to winning the Best Actor Award.

It would crown a year of outstanding success for Firth, who earlier this month picked up the leading actor award at the Baftas and Actor of the Year at the London Critics' Circle Film Awards for his role as stammering monarch King George VI.

The King's Speech is in the running for 12 gongs, more than any other film at the 83rd Academy Awards.

Its raft of nominations include best film, best actor for Firth, best supporting actress for Helena Bonham Carter for her role as Queen Elizabeth, and supporting actor for Geoffrey Rush, who plays an unorthodox speech therapist in the British movie.

It is also up for best director for British film-maker Tom Hooper, cinematography, and original screenplay.

Film critic Mark Kermode expects a successful night for Firth. He said: "You can always have surprises, that said I think Colin Firth is as close as you can get to a dead cert for the Oscars."

Firth, 50, has also landed a Golden Globe for his performance. Speaking after his Oscar nomination was revealed, he said: "Currently celebrating with my colleagues three feet above the ground. Not used to this much joy, or this much champagne at this hour."

He told ITV News: "It's great, and it's the fact that so many of us are there, a royal flush. That's the best thing about it really, we'll be going together."

The King's Speech is thought to have been made for a relatively low £9 million but has exceeded expectations by taking more than £18 million at the UK box office so far.

Other Brits with a shot at Oscar glory include Welsh-born Christian Bale, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a drug addict in The Fighter.

PA