Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed duties at the Opposition Leader’s Office in Colombo today. Rajapaksa’s media unit said that he assumed duties at No.30, Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo.
Mirren has described her time with Neeson as “a wonderful relationship”Credit:The Picture Library Liam Neeson and Helen Mirren were together for four year in the 1980sCredit:Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock Neeson, 65, recalled: “Before I met her and we worked together, I had read somewhere that if she fancied a guy she would imitate his walk behind his back. And I turned around one day and she was doing that to me. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Neeson moved to Hollywood in 1987 and made his name, earning an Oscar nomination for his performance in the 1993 film Schindler’s List. At 65, he has reinvented himself as an action star.He married the actress Natasha Richardson in 1994 and they had two children. She died in a skiing accident in 2009.Dame Helen, 72, began a relationship with Taylor Hackford, a US director, a year after her split from Neeson. They married in 1997. Meeting up with an old flame can be awkward, particularly when the relationship ended in heartbreak.Not so for Dame Helen Mirren and Liam Neeson. The pair were reunited on a chat show sofa, more than 30 years after their split, and shared warm memories of their love affair – with Neeson confiding that he was “smitten” from their first encounter.Many film fans are unaware that the two actors were once a couple, who met in 1980 on the set of John Boorman’s Excalibur. Neeson was in his first major role, as Sir Gawain, and Dame Helen was playing Morgana.Appearing on BBC One’s The Graham Norton Show to promote their latest films – Dame Helen stars in a horror film, Winchester, and Neeson in action thriller The Commuter – the pair were asked about their dating history.“We didn’t date, we lived together for four years. We were a serious item for a while. Lucky me!” said Dame Helen. Neeson moved in to Dame Helen’s London flat but struggled to find work, as her career went from strength to strength.In a 1994 profile of Neeson, Dame Helen said: “It was difficult for him to be under my shadow. I was well known. I had the money.” Eventually, they decided it was time for Neeson “to come out from under my wing. He handled it with great elegance and grace. We loved each other. It was difficult to let go.” “I remember being on the set and standing with Ciaran Hinds as Helen walked towards us dressed in her full Morgana le Fay costume, and we both went, ‘Oh f—.’ I was smitten. I think Ciaran was too, but I was very smitten.”Dame Helen laughed: “I never knew that. You’ve never told me that before – it’s amazing!”At the time, the actress was well known for her stage work and had made her film breakthrough in The Long Good Friday. Neeson, seven years her junior, was at the beginning of his career.He has said in the past that watching Dame Helen on set was “mesmeric. She was so sexy. I thought, gosh, that’s Helen Mirren! She was as beautiful up close as on stage. Just so human. I was in love with this extraordinary human being.” He told one interviewer: “Can you imagine riding horses in shiny suits of armour, having sword fights, and you’re falling in love with Helen Mirren? It doesn’t get any better than that.”