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First Perrier winner dies

Footlights star who spurned fame

One of the winners of the first Perrier award has died after a long illness.

Penny Dwyer was one of the writers and performers of the Cambridge Footlights revue The Cellar Tapes, which won the inaugural award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1981.

The cast also included Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Tony Slattery, Paul Shearer and Emma Thompson, and the show was directed by Jan Ravens.

Comedy Store Player Richard Vranch, a member of the 1982 Footlights team, said: "Penny will be remembered as a writer and performer of many children's shows, sketch shows and plays in Cambridge in the late Seventies and early Eighties.

"She was a loyal friend, and remains one of the few female Perrier winners."

Dwyer, who died on Thursday, continued to write after the Footlights, but chose not to embark on a full-time career in the entertainment business.

Instead, she became a metallurgist, and played a key role in the construction of the Channel Tunnel.

Posted: 7 Sep 2003

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