Hugh Grant lived next door to a murderer when he was growing up in London, and had to be pleasant to him because his mother was convinced he was innocent.

The actor and his brother went to great lengths to be friendly to their next door neighbour, who Grant refuses to name, even painting his fence and taking him Christmas shopping.

Grant recalls of his neighbour in Chiswick, "He had a wife and the wife disappeared and couldn't be found for two months and then they found two of her fingers on a golf course - some foxes dug up her fingers. It was clearly her from the wedding ring and everything.

"Everyone thought, 'He's killed her' - the whole neighbourhood, the police, but they couldn't pin it on him. The only person who didn't think he'd done it was my mum.

"She was so convinced he was innocent that she made me and my brother, who were quite young at the time, be especially nice to him.

"It turned out he absolutely had done it. They had had a big fight about an omelette. He'd made an omelette with 12 eggs and she was furious and he was furious at her being furious, so he hit her over the head with a cricket bat.

"He cut her into very small pieces with one of those electric carving knives that were very big in the 70s and he scattered the parts in various parts of England, including the head, which was in the left luggage department of Victoria Station."

12/11/2003 09:10