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Tuesday, 1 May, 2001, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Dodd to get Freedom of Liverpool
Veteran comedian Ken Dodd is to be awarded the Freedom of the City of Liverpool this week.

The comic will receive the honour, in recognition of his 50-year career in comedy and his fundraising work for charity, in a ceremony on Friday.

Lord Mayor of Liverpool Eddie Clein said: "Ken Dodd has shown a wonderful loyalty to Liverpool, where he has lived all his life, and we are proud to confer the Freedom of the City on him.

"He has constantly promoted this city and is a legendary figure in the entertainment world."

Standing ovation for Van Outen

Denise Van Outen received a standing ovation following her opening night performance in the musical Chicago.

The former Big Breakfast presenter has adopted a southern US accent for her role of the predatory Roxie Hart in the West End musical.

Television and stage stars were out in force to see her debut.

EastEnders star Barbara Windsor, TV host Angus Deayton, comedian Julian Clary and musical actress Danii Minogue were in the audience.

Julian Lennon sings for Linda tribute

John Lennon's son Julian has recorded a Paul McCartney song for the upcoming Linda McCartney tribute album.

Julian Lennon's official website reports that the singer has recorded Blackbird from The Beatles' White Album for the new double CD.

The tribute album is said to include tracks by Britney Spears, Madonna, Queen, The Corrs, Art Garfunkel, Lenny Kravitz and The Eagles.

The album will raise money for the US charity Women Against Cancer.

DJ Spoony meets soccer heroes

A new documentary series starts on BBC Radio Five Live next month in which the Dreem Team's DJ Spoony presents an entertaining look into the real lives of UK football heroes.

Guests lined up for DJ Spoony Meets... include Leeds' Rio Ferdinand, Chelsea's Jody Morris and Liverpool's Jamie Redknapp.

As well as finding out what makes them tick off the pitch, Spoony browses through their wardrobes and flicks through their CD collections.

The programme kicks off on Tuesday 5 June at 2130.

New Posh Spice song leaked

A track from Spice Girl Victoria Beckham's forthcoming album has been leaked on the internet.

A version of the song I Wish appeared on the site of Beckham's producers, Soulshock and Karlin, but was soon removed.

It has been reported that it was a planned single release, and that Beckham feared the leak may harm album sales.

"It has now been taken off and won't affect any of her plans or desires whatsoever," her spokesman said.

Jim Royle turned into living doll

A doll of The Royle Family's Jim Royle will go on sale from next week.

The doll will wear Jim's trademark jeans, slippers and T-shirt, and say catchphrases including "Any chance of a brew here?" and "Get that will you Barb?".

Jim, played by Ricky Tomlinson, is an unusual choice of subject for a doll, being an overweight layabout who enjoys nothing more that sitting in front of the TV.

Emma Jowitt of toy company Vivid Imaginations told the Daily Record newspaper: "The Royle Family has a massive fan base now, particularly Jim, and we've definitely captured his most memorable characteristics."

Theakston's hypnotic experiment

TV presenter Jamie Theakston will make TV history when he presents a show while under hypnosis.

Theakston will present Tuesday's edition of Channel 4's The Priory after being hypnotised to respond to certain words.

He will appear normal - but the chosen words will trigger a reaction.

"It might be something like every time the word EastEnders is mentioned he will think he is naked," a spokeswoman said. "It should be very funny."

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