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Hughís comic film puts No. 10 in a spin

London, Aug. 27: It is a spin doctorís nightmare. A bachelor Prime Minister arrives at 10 Downing Street and falls in love on his first day with, of all people, the tea lady.

Even worse, they are spotted together at a Christmas pageant.

This is the basis of one of the many plots in Love Actually, the next romantic comedy from the team behind Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Bridget Jonesí Diary. It promises to have many of the winning ingredients of previous productions from the Working Title stable and, on the teamís previous form, the project, with a cast of major names, is likely to be an enormous box office success on both sides of the Atlantic.

Hugh Grant stars as the Prime Minister, with Martine McCutcheon, formerly of EastEnders, as the tea lady who captures his heart. The twists and turns of their romance are interwoven with other characters in 10 separate stories of love in London which merge into the filmís Christmas Eve climax.

The Prime Ministerís sister Karen (played by Emma Thompson) is married to Harry (Alan Rickman), who is pursued by a German colleague (Heidi Makatsch). Meanwhile, Colin Firth plays a jilted writer who moves to the south of France and falls in love with his Portuguese housekeeper. Andrew Lincoln (This Life, Teachers) is besotted with Keira Knightley (Bend It Like Beckham), who marries an unsuitable suitor.

Liam Neeson is devoted to his stepson, played by Grantís real cousin, Thomas Sangster. The two have their own issues with unrequited love. If this is not enough to satisfy star spotters, Billy Bob Thornton has a cameo role as the US President.

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