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Saturday, January 23, 1999 Published at 00:32 GMT


Woody Allen to star in Spielberg film

Woody Allen: Rarely stars outside his own films

Woody Allen, who rarely acts outside his own films, has accepted a $4m offer to star in a new basketball comedy movie called Loud and Clear.

The film by Steven Spielberg's company DreamWorks, feature Allen as an analyst for whom things start going wrong after he is paired with a sports announcer with a propensity for funny commentary.

The announcer is likely to be played by US comedian Chris Rock - who has said Allen was one of his key influences.

Allen, who voiced Zee in Antz, is also being tipped to star in the next movie by the makers of There's Something About Mary.

Bob and Peter Farrelly's latest project is Stuck On You, a story of semi-Siamese twins who share the same liver but have totally different personalities.

They want Allen to team up with Jim Carrey to play the twins, although they are aware the casting could be a difficult job.

Peter Farrelly said: "We like to push the envelope. We like to test how far we can go without embarrassing ourselves and everyone else."

Big names sing for Cash

[ image: Bruce Springsteen: Honouring ailing Johnny Cash]
Bruce Springsteen: Honouring ailing Johnny Cash
Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Willie Nelson are among the stars who are to honour Johnny Cash in a tribute concert.

Cash, 66, has Shy Drager Syndrome - which is similar to Parkinson's Disease - and been hospitalised at times suffering from bouts of pneumonia.

The concert, to be held in April at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, celebrates the singer's life and career.

His daughter Roseanne is to perform alongside a growing list of stars.

Offspring eye up Number One

[ image: 911: Watching out for Offspring]
911: Watching out for Offspring
A US rock band formed 15 years ago could score their first mainstream UK hit by going straight in at number one in the charts.

Californian group Offspring are outselling rivals by two to one with their single Pretty Fly (For A White Guy), a parody of white rap artists.

Rap artists TQ and Busta Rhymes are vying for the next chart positions, as are Bradford-based rock act Terrorvision in the chart to be unveiled on Sunday.

But pop acts like Steps traditionally pick up sales towards the end of the week - and boy band 911 could still be unassailable at the top of the charts.

Six of the best for Caine

[ image: Michael Caine: Filming across Europe]
Michael Caine: Filming across Europe
Michael Caine is to play an actor with six ex-wives, six daughters and six ghosts in Peter Bogdanovich's new film comedy Wait for Me.

It is Bogdanovich's first film since he filed for bankruptcy two years ago after facing a $3m penalty for failing to make payments on a house he had pledged to buy.

As well as Caine, the film is to be an all-star vehicle with Gena Rowlands, Isabella Rossellini, Peter Falk, Cybill Shepherd and Jerry Lewis.

Filming will take place in Prague, Vienna, Salzberg and Budapest and Caine describes his role as "a cross between Woody Allen and John Cassavetes".

No New Kids revival

[ image: New Kids On The Block: Not coming back]
New Kids On The Block: Not coming back
Former New Kids On The Block heart-throb Donnie Wahlberg is turning down offers to reform the group so he can concentrate on his acting career.

"I've been asked to do a reunion album as well as a solo album and I get thousands of letters from fans of the group but I don't really want to be singing and dancing right now," he said.

The 29-year-old was 14 when he founded the group, which swept the world in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Wahlberg has appeared with Mel Gibson in Ransom in 1996, as well as Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense, which is due for a US release in the autumn.

His brother Mark has already made his name as an actor, most notably in Boogie Nights.

Net campaigners turn to Nana

[ image: Robbie Williams: Fighting music downloads on the Internet]
Robbie Williams: Fighting music downloads on the Internet
The pop stars battling copyright issues on the Internet have turned to singer and Euro MP Nana Mouskouri for help.

Top acts like The Corrs, Boyzone and the Spice Girls are among 400 artists complaining about the huge loss of revenue caused by free Net use of music.

Now their petition is being backed by Mouskouri, the Greek and international singing star, who is supporting the artists within the European Parliament's Petitions Committee.

Keith wins road battle

[ image: Keith Richards: No new road near his house]
Keith Richards: No new road near his house
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and a group of neighbours have won a battle to block plans for a new road near the rock legend's country home.

The Stones stalwart, 55, was part of a group complaining about tree felling, and backed a decision by the local council to refuse planning permission for road access to the site at near the seaside village of West Wittering, West Sussex.

Now a government inspector has rejected an appeal from the business partners behind the plan.

Richards lives in a moated Elizabethan farmhouse near the village.

BBC sign new Wark deal

[ image: Kirsty Wark: Newsnight host stays with BBC]
Kirsty Wark: Newsnight host stays with BBC
Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark has signed a three-year deal to stay with the BBC.

In addition to hosting BBC Two's Newsnight programme she will also return to Rough Justice and the history show One Foot In The Past.

She will have a leading role covering the new Scottish Parliament, hosting a weekly analysis programme for BBC Scotland.

She said: "This will be a tremendous challenge for me and I'm absolutely thrilled."

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