a) Why is Whoopi Goldberg on the display outside the National Film Theatre? Gromit definitely (the finest actor of his generation!) Hitchcock, Garland and the rest, yes. But just what's she done to deserve it?
b) Why is Simon Russell Beale considered so wonderful? Even discounting Gromit, and just considering actors who've recently done major roles at the National Theatre, both Alex Jennings and Roger Allam (both fabulous in Speer, now in My Fair Lady and Privates on Parade respectively) are much both better. And they can both sing, which SRB can't (just why he won an award for Candide is a complete mystery...)