Shipyard workers refuse to be carried away as Sir Ben Kingsley drops in to see carrier

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HOLLYWOOD star Sir Ben Kingsley surprised workers at the Scottish dockyard where the new Royal Navy aircraft carrier is being assembled when he stopped off for a visit yesterday.

Sir Ben toured the Babcock facility at Rosyth, in Fife, on the Forth, meeting staff at work on the construction of HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The Oscar-winning actor was there to learn about some of the ships built at the site and to find out more about the history of the dockyard.

Heavy handling engineer Alex Keatings said: “I did a double take when I saw him.

“The last person you expect to meet on a cold Monday morning in Rosyth is a Hollywood star.

“He was really interested to learn more about the work we’re doing.”

During the visit he tried out the driver’s seat of the huge Goliath crane and was also given a guided tour of the under-construction aircraft carrier.

It is the first of two 65,000-tonne ships under construction for the navy. Six UK shipyards are involved in building various parts of the vessel, which are ultimately being assembled in Fife.

It is due to be completed by 2016, with HMS Prince of Wales following later.

The vessels are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a partnership between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the Ministry of Defence.

When finished, the warship will be 920ft (280m) long, 230ft (70m) wide and 184ft (56m) high from keel to masthead, 13ft (4m) taller than Niagara Falls.

Sir Ben won the best actor Oscar for the 1982 film Gandhi.