Oscar nominee PETER O'TOOLE won't be rushing back to his thespian roots anytime soon - he's disgusted at how William Shakespeare productions are being staged by one of Britain's premier companies.
O'Toole shot to fame as an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in the 1950s but fears the establishment has taken a downward spiral since his departure.
The 74-year-old says, "I've avoided the RSC and all that rubbish. I've not liked them for half a century.
"There was a period - 30 odd years - in which the RSC, the National, The Royal Court, all that lot, were mediocre. Within the last five or 10 years they've become bad.
"They don't know they're bad. They've got a very high opinion of themselves. They live in an isolated little community. All it is, is a young bunch of mediocrities."
O'Toole broke his RSC contract to star in 1962 movie Lawrence Of Arabia. He plays an aging thespian in 2006 movie VENUS, which has earned him an Academy Award nod for Best Actor.