SPENCER TRACEY and Katharine Hepburn had the greatest on-screen chemistry in the history of cinema, according to a group of British scientists.

The couple, whose chemistry extended off screen as they filmed nine movies together, were considered the most explosive couple in film by experts at the ROYAL SOCIETY OF CHEMISTRY, who were asked to analyse Hollywood stars' compatibility.

Tracey and Hepburn - who won over film fans with their on-screen rapport in ADAM'S RIB and GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER - beat off competition from DAME Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in second and Humphrey Bogart and LAUREN BACALL.

The scientists concluded that on-screen chemistry is at its highest when two very different people manage to create one potent partnership - and is any chemical compound.

The top ten in full is:

1: SPENCER TRACEY and KATHARINE HEPBURN

2: DAME ELIZABETH TAYLOR and RICHARD BURTON

3: HUMPHREY BOGART and Lauren Bacall

4: Mel Gibson and Danny Glover

5: Robert Redford and Paul Newman

6: Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau

7: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

8: HUMPHREY BOGART and Ingrid Bergman

9: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy

10: Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.

27/04/2004 14:05