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GIMME A MAN TO LOVE; Actress Kathy Burke is missing just one thing in her life - a soul mate.

SHE has fame, money and has won critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, but there's still something missing from Kathy Burke's life ... a man.

In recent years, the unassuming star has become more than just funnyman Harry Enfield's sidekick, showing herself to be one of Britain's funniest and most talented actresses - and she has the awards to prove it.

But what Kathy yearns for is something quite different, mundane even.

The 35-year-old actress dreams of having a husband and children.

Her track record in love, however, is not nearly as impressive as her TV and film career.

She's the first to admit that her love life is all but non-existent and is only too happy to discuss her dating disasters - such as the time she realised her new boyfriend was a glue sniffer "because when I was snogging him, I could taste the Evostick".

Kathy, who ironically played Linda, a man-mad redhead in the comedy show Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, is just as candid about her current situation.

She said: "It's sad that I haven't got a husband and kids - that's something I would really love.

"There's no specific man in my life at the moment, though I'm surrounded by brilliant men friends."

She added: "But it's easy to just get laid - it's much harder to meet your soul mate.

"Unfortunately, I haven't met him yet. If I'm 75 and he knocks on my door, I hope he's worth the wait."

Kathy - who stars as teenage boy Perry alongside Harry Enfield in the film Kevin And Perry Go Large, released on Friday - is too smart to brood about being alone.

She revealed she's had plenty of affairs in the past - although never with married men, because she disapproves of betraying other women.

However, long-term relationships have never really featured in her romantic life - and even she doesn't know why.

Perhaps it's because this earthy actress is simply rather choosier than she pretends.

Even when she was 19, she had certain rules for herself.

As a result, an affair with fellow actor Gary Oldman never got off the ground.

Kathy recalled that when they were teenagers, they appeared in a play together.

She fell in love with him and made "a twit of myself mooning all over him".

Oldman offered to sleep with her, but she refused because at that time "it would have been all about him and nothing to do with me".

The two fell out as a result and didn't make up until Gary cast Kathy in her award- winning role as an abused wife in his film, Nil By Mouth.

Now she worries that her fame may put off some of the good guys out there.

Kathy said: "I'd hate blokes to think I'm not approachable. Just because I'm famous or successful, doesn't mean I don't want to meet a lovely man I can have a bit of a cuddle with."

When asked if relatives badger her about boyfriends and children, she laughs and agrees, but she's also very upbeat about her life.

"I'm not going to stress myself out," she said. "I'm a very happy person."

Although Kathy believes she's not conventionally beautiful, she has a vivacious personality, is quick-witted and very funny.

Her down-to-earth personality is much more likeable and endearing than Hollywood's plastic beauties.

Even footballer-turned actor Vinnie Jones couldn't resist her when they met - despite the fact she was in full make- up as one of her homely characters.

She laughed: "A right old dog I looked, but he still flirted with me and went `Phoooar' and wanted to get hold of me. I love that."

Kathy is certain that the way she looks has helped her as an actress because directors know that vanity doesn't come into it.

They know she's prepared to look terrible if the part demands it. Even being overweight has its advantages.

Kathy said: "It means I tend to play people who are normal. I'm not a raving beauty. I've got quite a plain old face, but so have the majority of women."

Kathy has recently enjoyed success in movies such as Elizabeth and Dancing at Lughnasa and was even ferried to Cannes by private jet to collect the Best Actress Award for her stunning performance in Nil By Mouth.

She is also a successful writer and director. Her play, Mr Thomas, won a Time Out award and her production of Jonathan Harvey's Boom Bang- a-Bang won critical plaudits.

She revealed: "In the States, I'm seen as a very serious actress. Any fan letters I get from America are respectful and worthy - not like the fan mail I get here which is all `All right, you old bag?'"

While romantic love has eluded Kathy, she has enjoyed a long-term relationship with one man - Harry Enfield.

Kathy said: "We've had times when we haven't got on that well, but that's normal because it is longer than any relationship and so there are times when you get a bit fed up with each other.

"But working on Kevin and Perry Go Large was great because it was the longest we'd spent in each other's company. I thought we'd either end up killing each other or getting on really well."

Fortunately, they got along just fine.

Kathy revels in her role as Perry, adding: "Girls playing guys in the movies is rather topical at the moment, of course - last month, Hillary Swank won an Oscar for playing a teenage boy in Boys Don't Cry.

"She's completely stolen my thunder, hasn't she?" joked Kathy.

But while Hillary spent months losing weight to make herself look more masculine and studying how to walk and talk like a man, Kathy says her preparation for playing a boy was a lot simpler.

"I just strapped me bosoms down and put a false k*** in me trousers and that was it."
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Synnot, Siobhan
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 17, 2000
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