Actress DAME Julie Andrews has given up hope of her singing voice returning, despite singing in a film for the first time in seven years.

The 68-year-old SOUND OF MUSIC star had her voice ruined by a routine throat operation 1997, but has made a comeback with a "sing-speaking" role in the Walt Disney romance PRINCESS DIARIES 2.

She says, "I try the smallest, smallest amount of a song, but I kind of sing as much as Rex Harrison used to do (in My Fair Lady).

"I'm not really going to be singing again, I don't think, sadly."

Andrews had hoped a pioneering operation to implant new vocal cords, currently being tested on cancer patients, would help restore her voice - but the technique is expected to take decades to perfect.

She says, "I'd do it like a shot if it was ready, but it's not going to be ready for a very long time. I don't think I'll be around by then.

"I don't want people to think I'm making a big comeback or anything like that."

26/09/2004 15:07