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Weekly's Gone By:WEEK-42-01
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week 35-01
ShowBiz Weekly: news from the UK & US...

A bookmaker has announced the odds on which artist's music video will be named best of the year at the MTV awards in New York next week. British hopeful FATBOY SLIM is an outside chance at odds of 10-1, with LADY MARMALADE the favourite at odds of 3-2. Also in with a chance are U2, whose Beautiful Day was given odds of 2-1, JANET JACKSON's All for You is at 5-1 and controversial rapper EMINEM in least favourite, with his Stan video rated at 15-1.

Cowabunga! The TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES are climbing out of the sewers again and are to star in a 40 million blockbuster. Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Rafael and Donatello hit fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s and now the mutant turtle heroes are to return to the big screen. A live-action American television series will also be made, as well as a series of new video games. GARY RICHARDSON, boss of Mirage, the group which owns the rights to the reptiles told the Hollywood Reporter: ``This provides Mirage fabulous opportunities for realising classic action and adventure and capturing the Turtles' unique brand of irreverent humour.''

SIR ANTHONY HOPKINS rejects any suggestion that he is like Dr Hannibal Lecter, the cannibal he is to play for a third time in Red Dragon. The British actor does not eat humans - or animals. ``I am not Hannibal Lecter - I prefer some pasta, some risotto,'' he told People magazine. ``I eat a bit of fish. I am a vegetarian almost. Let's say that I am a fisharian.''

Star Trek's new Enterprise will be far more realistic than previous versions of the famous spaceship, its designer says. Production designer HERMAN ZIMMERMAN told the Los Angeles Times: ``It's an attempt to fabricate the future more realistically based on the aircraft and spacecraft that researchers are working on now.'' The set, which will be seen next month in America in the new Star Trek series, features emergency lighting along the floor, low ceilings and beams which crew members have to watch out for. ``Simple doesn't mean inelegant There's a certain beauty in seeing holes in the I-beams and rivets in the supports,'' he said.

American defence chiefs were enraged by a scene in Forrest Gump where TOM HANKS showed a scar on his bottom to the president. Angry top brass wrote in a memo: ``The `mooning' of a president by a uniformed soldier is not acceptable cinematic licence.'' And the revelation came as American magazine Brill's Content told how the Pentagon has refused to help directors whose scripts they don't like. It also uses films itself, such as SIR ANTHONY HOPKINS' new movie Hearts in Atlantis, where army bosses allowed their land to be used in return for a recruiting stand being seen in a carnival scene.

LEONARDO DiCAPRIO may have TOM HANKS on his tail when he plays a counterfeiter on the run from the FBI in true crime story. The Titanic star will play Frank Abagnale, an international con man who cashed fake cheques worth 2.5 million dollars. He carried out his deception under the guises of an airline pilot, a doctor, a stockbroker, a professor and the associate attorney general of Louisiana - all before he was 21. Hanks is in talks with studio DreamWorks about playing Joe Shaye, the tough FBI detective who devoted six years of his career to finding Abagnale in Catch Me If You Can, Daily Variety reports. Despite being on the opposite sides of the law, the criminal and the detective became friends and Shaye recommended his former quarry's early release after he served five years in prison.

RENEE ZELLWEGER is the latest big name to consider starring in a film adaptation of best-selling novel Cold Mountain. The Bridget Jones star is in talks with Miramax boss HARVEY WEINSTEIN about playing Ada, the sweetheart left behind by Inman, a lone soldier who returns from the American civil war and is likely to be played by TOM CRUISE. But Zellweger is also talking with studio bosses at Miramax about appearing in a film version of stage hit Chicago, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The book has been turned into a screenplay by ANTHONY MINGHELLA, the British writer who turned The English Patient into a film and whose career started scripting Grange Hill.

HUGH GRANT has found a new love interest - but only on the big screen. He is to star opposite SANDRA BULLOCK in a romantic comedy which has still to gain a title. The British actor will play the charming, wealthy but irresponsible boss of Lucy Kelson, a brilliant but eccentric lawyer played by Bullock. The plot is being kept a secret but sources close to the production te am told the Hollywood Reporter it would explore the question of whether it is too late to say ``I love you''. Grant's next big release is likely to be a film version of About A Boy, the novel by Fever Pitch author NICK HORNBY.

Singer PRINCE is in mourning after the death of his father, 85-year-old JOHN NELSON. The former leader of a jazz band died at the purple house Prince gave to him in his famous Presley Park estate and recording complex. The father-of-five had bought Prince his first guitar and the two wrote songs including Computer Blue and The Ladder. But they also had a rollercoaster relationship until they finally reconciled after he was not invited to the singer's wedding to MAYTE GARCIA-NELSON in 1996.

Comeback ER doctor SHERRY SPRINGFIELD has revealed she realised she wanted to be a television doctor again after becoming a mother. Springfield played Dr Susan Lewis and quit the hospital drama after the third series but returns to Cook County Hospital as the show starts its eight series. ``I was so moved by the birth experience, and kept telling my husband, `I wish I'd been an obstetrician, I missed my calling','' she told American television show Extra. ``And I was sitting there nursing, and I was like, `You know, I'd love to play a doctor'.''

A stalker of NICOLE KIDMAN is claiming that he is now being stalked by Pearl Harbor star BEN AFFLECK. MATT HOOKER says Affleck has stalked him five times, once while ``dressed as a Frenchman with a toothbrush moustache'', according to Empire magazine. Hooker believes Affleck is the perpetrator, saying: ``He knew I was soon to go public with the truth that the original idea for Good Will Hunting was stolen from me!'' But Affleck's publicist has laughed off the idea, saying: ``I'm sure Ben will find the news absolutely hilarious.''

JOHN TRAVOLTA is reported to have been offered 700,000 dollars to celebrate his sci-fi turkey Battlefield Earth at a convention in England. A spokeswoman, ANDREA HENRY, says: ``I know the movie had bad press, but it really has become a cult.'' So much so, in fact , that a new animated series, set to hit screens in 2002, has been commissioned with DAN HEGGARTY set to take on Travolta's role of Terl.

VICTORIA BECKHAM has not had her lip pierced but was sporting a fake clip-on ring when she appeared on stage, her spokeswoman has insisted. The former Spice Girl wowed fans at Party in the Park in Birmingham on Bank Holiday Monday when she showed up wearing tight leather trousers, sporting fake tattoos and with a silver ring on her bottom lip. Dental experts expressed concern that such a piercing could spark a copycat trend among youngsters which could have health implications. A spokesman for the British Dental Association warned that if piercings were carried out by unqualified or inexperienced practitioners it could lead to excessive bleeding or infection. But a spokesman for Victoria Beckham insisted the ring was merely a decorative clip-on and that she had not had her lip pierced.

Controversial rocker MARILYN MANSON has been honoured at music's most outrageous awards ceremony where he collected a gong at what has been dubbed the heavy metal oscars. Music's darkest star picked up the Best Album award for his latest release, Holywood, at the annual Kerrang! Awards held in central London. The award caps a successful trip to the UK for the Gothic hero, who thrilled his loyal army of fans at the weekend, performing at the Leeds and Reading festivals and at Glasgow's Gig on the Green. His satanic lyrics and shocking stage show have earned him a reputation second to none in the world of heavy metal. But he missed out on the title of Best Band in the World, which went to American shock band SLIPKNOT. Other winners at the ceremony included Welsh band FEEDER who collected the Best British Live Act award and American star PAPA ROACH, who was named the Best International Live Act.

In the middle of his stormy split from NICOLE KIDMAN, there's great news for TOM CRUISE - he's about to become a godfather. The actor's ex-wife, actress MIMI ROGERS, 49, ran into Cruise earlier this summer when she was heavily pregnant. The two, who have stayed on good terms since their own 1993 marriage break-up, talked about their children and Rogers asked Cruise if he'd be godfather to her baby. Cruise, very touched, agreed immediately. When Rogers gave birth this July to Charlie, her second son with long-time boyfriend CHRIS CIAFFA, Cruise was one of the first to offer his congratulations to the couple. Now, he says, he can't wait for the baptism and the chance to play with his new godson.

Music superstar MADONNA has a new baby, a new husband, a new home and a new tour. But things are not going nearly so well for CARLOS LEON, father of the singer's daughter Lourdes - he's being evicted from his Beverly Hills flat because he can't pay his rent. Leon, a former fitness instructor, lives in New York most of the time, but kept a small apartment in Los Angeles. Now his LA landlady has filed a civil complaint in Beverly Hills Superior Court claiming Leon has paid no rent since March. The eviction is just the latest downturn for Leon. He was recently arrested for smoking marijuana in New York's Washington Square Park and spent the night in jail.

Hollywood hooker DEVINE BROWN gained international notoriety after being arrested engaging in a sexual act in a car with British actor HUGH GRANT. Now she has blown the 850,000-dollar fortune she made during her 15 minutes of fame and is back working the streets of the very same neighbourhood. Brown (real name ESTELLA THOMPSON) started raking in the cash after the 1995 scandal as magazines and talk shows lined up for her story. But the sadder and wiser mother of three says: ``My boyfriend, who was also my pimp, took charge of my business affairs. What I didn't realise was that he was robbing me blind.'' So once again, Brown is plying her trade on the streets around Sunset Boulevard. ``I'm not looking for sympathy,'' she says firmly. ``I've got a good body and I can still work.''

James Bond star PIERCE BROSNAN will drink his martinis shaken or stirred, just as long as they're not too hot or too cold. The famous actor has super-sensitive teeth and gums and even the food he eats must never be hotter than warm or colder than cool.

Self-proclaimed King of Pop MICHAEL JACKSON makes no secret of the fact that he thinks becoming a professional performer when he was a child ruined his life. So his sister JANET JACKSON was horrified when the star recently asked her to give singing lessons to his three-year-old daughter Paris. Worried Jackson confided in a friend that her brother thinks her little girl has ``real talent'' and can be ``a big star''.

Jurassic Park III star TEA LEONI says she is seriously thinking of using her husband's name professionally in future, calling herself Tea Leo ni-Duchovny. Her husband, X-Files star DAVID DUCHOVNY, jokes: ``I think it's a great idea and she should do it. It's the only way my name will ever be on an Oscar.''

KEVIN SPACEY marvels that he has won the part of the emotionally-scarred father of two in The Shipping News after chasing it for six years. When the Oscar-winner first heard that ANNE PROULX's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was being turned into a film he told his manager he wanted to do it. ``I was told it was a JOHN TRAVOLTA movie,'' Spacey told USA Today about the drama, which is due out at Christmas. Travolta dropped out of the project but then BILLY BOB THORNTON expressed interest before he, too, dropped out. By that time Spacey had won his Oscar for American Beauty. ``Six year ago, they wouldn't have thought of me,'' he said. ``Not only would I have not been able to knock on the door, but I don't even think I would have known where the door was. It just goes to show you, no actor ever owns a role.''

The film version of the popular musical Rent is now unlikely to be made following Miramax's decision to scrap the project. Director SPIKE LEE had already started auditioning several potential cast members, including Latin crooner MARC ANTHONY. Sources say Miramax executives were concerned about the estimated cost of the film. Lee is now reportedly concentrating on a film about fighter JOE LOUIS's life, focusing on his famous 1936 bout with MAX SCHMELING.

The house where MADONNA grew up is being offered for sale on the Internet for 225,000. The four-bedroom, two bath home in Rochester Hills, Michigan, is where Madonna lived ``with her father, stepmother and seven siblings,'' according to the listing on Madonna's father, Tony Ciccone, and her stepmother, Joan, the family's former housekeeper, owned the house until July. They now live on their own vineyard. ``No one else has lived in it since their departure,'' says the Web site. ``This house has been Madonna's stopping point when visiting her parents or when on tour in the area.''

DAMON GOUGH, who performs as Badly Drawn Boy, is breaking into the film business. He has been commissioned to write and record the score and soundtrack for About a Boy, the film based on NICK HORNBY's novel of the same name. The film, which has been directed by the American brothers CHRIS and PAUL WEITZ, stars HUGH GRANT and RACHEL WEISZ and is due to be released in April.

After being released from a London hospital last week WINONA RYDER has officially dropped out of the film Lily and the Secret Planting. Production has now been suspended and producer SARAH RADCLYFFE is now planning to recast the leading role of a claustrophobic woman who finds comfort in caring for plants. Ryder, who spent last weekend in the hospital with what was described as a ``stomach bug'' is now back at her Los Angeles home where she has been advised by doctors to rest for the next 10 days.

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