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Theatre figures pay tribute to Richard Attenborough

Judi Dench, Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley were among figures from the theatre and film industries to attend a memorial service for director Richard Attenborough held in central London.

Attenborough died last year at the age of 90 and had appeared in and directed theatre and film during a career that spanned more than 50 years.

His brother, wildlife presenter David Attenborough, spoke at the service held at Westminster Abbey.

He read an extract of Attenborough’s maiden speech in the House of Lords in 1994, in which he highlighted the importance of the arts.

“The arts are not a luxury. They are as crucial to our wellbeing, to our very existence, as eating and breathing. Access to them should not be restricted to a privileged few. Nor are they the playground of the intelligentsia. The arts are for everyone – and failure to include everyone diminishes us all.”

Other figures to speak at the service included Kingsley, Geraldine James, Tom Hiddleston and Penelope Wilton.