‘No ill feeling’ Tom Conti shut down rumours Princess Diana friendship cost him knighthood

Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence scene with Tom Conti and David Bowie

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Tom Conti fans will be able to see the star back in his memorable role as Costas Dimitriades in Shirley Valentine tonight on Channel 5. However, many may be keen to know more about Tom’s life off-screen as well, including his friendship with Princess Diana.

Scottish actor Tom won hearts in his role as Costas in the iconic film.

He’s also had an acclaimed career, starring in Broadway’s Whose Life Is It Anyway? as well as films like Reuben, Reuben and Mr Lawrence.

Outside of acting, Tom has previously opened up about his friendship with the late Princess Diana.

Tom attended her funeral in 1997, where he was pictured with Hollywood star Tom Hanks.

Speaking to the Sunday Mail back in 2004, he called their relationship a “nice friendship”.

However, at the time, he added: “The one thing that should be remembered is that she has children and they are vulnerable.”

The actor later addressed rumours of a relationship between the pair.

These had arisen after Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell wrote in his memoirs how she had been involved with an actor.

This is something Tom has very much denied, shutting down as well that this may have been the reason he was never given a knighthood.

Speaking in 2011, he addressed the rumours about the knighthood, saying: “That’s nonsense.

“There’s a belief that there was some massive affair, but absolutely not.

“We were friends. That was that.

“I’ve been invited to lunch at the palace since, so I don’t think there is any ill-feeling,” he added to the Daily Mail at the time.

Tom played Costas in Shirley Valentine opposite star Pauline Collins back in 1989.

The hit film was based on the play written by Willy Russell which sees middle-aged housewife Shirley find herself entangled in a holiday romance.

She heads off to Greece after her pal wins a trip for two to the country where she meets Costas.

He’s a Greek tavern owner who helps her rediscover her love of life.

Outside of acting, Tom has been married to his wife Kara since 1967.

The pair have one daughter together called Nina Conti who is an actor and ventriloquist.

In recent years, Tom hasn’t been seen in many films or series.

He last appeared on TV back in 2019 as Dr Bernard Newton in an episode of Doc Martin.

He also starred in the 2017 film Paddington 2 as Judge Gerald Biggleswade.

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