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Wednesday, 15 November, 2000, 15:47 GMT
Bill stars in drink drama
Two former stars of The Bill ended up on the wrong side of the law when they were arrested after a drunken night out in central London.

Gregory Donaldson, who played Detective Constable Tom Proctor in the long-running ITV series, was arrested in a Soho restaurant after allegedly stealing two bottles of spirits.

The 27-year-old actor was taken to the nearby West End Central Police Station where he was detained while police investigated the alleged crime.

Shortly afterwards, Iain Fletcher, 33, who played Detective Rod Skase, turned up at the police station to demand his friend's release.

But he was arrested himself for being drunk and disorderly.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: "Police were called at 2am on 14 November by staff in a restaurant in Frith Street to reports of the theft of two bottles of spirits.

"Police arrested one man in his 20s at the scene. He was bailed to return subsequently to West End Central Police Station on November 25, pending further inquiries."

He added: "A second man, aged 33, subsequently attended West End Central Police Station and was arrested for being drunk and disorderly. He was later told there would be no further action."

Both actors left the series earlier this year.


Aspel tribute to Life worker

Presenter Michael Aspel has paid tribute to a set builder from his show This is Your Life who died after being attacked outside a pub in Manchester.

Police have launched a murder investigation after Brian Bassett, 42, died of a brain injury in the Manchester Royal Infirmary on Monday night.

Mr Bassett, a seams operator on This is Your Life, was attacked and punched in the face by two men near Teasers bar on Deansgate on Hallowe'en night.

He hit his head on the kerb and suffered head injuries.

Mr Bassett, of Teddington, west London, had worked on the show for 15 years.

Mr Aspel, who began hosting the show in 1988, said: "I am deeply shocked and saddened. We have been going to Manchester for many years and have always had happy times there.

"Brian was a popular member of a very close team and we won't forget him."

Pearson Television, which makes the show for the BBC, has pledged to match Greater Manchester Police's 10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever was responsible for Mr Bassett's death.


Eminem is top MP3 star

Controversial rapper Eminem leads the UK's first ever independent chart of MP3 downloads.

Users of website Clickmusic.co.uk voted his track Justify Mine With Proof as the best that had been submitted to the site.

Other high-flyers included Beck (number four), Freestylers (seven) and Slipknot (10).

Second was Third Eye Foundation's What Is It With You?, and third was Love Somebody by the Fighting Cocks, the first UK band to be signed to a record company on the strength of their online demos.


West End star mourned

Family and friends of actress Stephanie Lawrence paid their respects at her funeral in London, following her death a week ago.

The 50-year-old musical favourite was best known for her appearances in a trio of Andrew Lloyd Webber hits Evita, Cats and Starlight Express.

A recording of Think of Me from Phantom Of The Opera was played at the service, and the congregation heard how "a light had gone out in the West End".


S Club's magnificent 26

Pop group S Club 7 will become S Club 26 for one night when they are joined by a choir of children to perform on the BBC's Children In Need this Friday.

The 19-strong girls choir from Robert Kett School in Norfolk won a nationwide competition to join the chart-toppers.

They will back the group to perform Children In Need's official single, Never Had A Dream Come True.

S Club 7 will release the song as a charity single on 27 November.


'Beans mean love' for Paltrow

Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow has reportedly found love again with Chris Heinz, heir to the baked beans empire.

The Shakespeare in Love actress has been spotted out on a series of dates with the 27-year-old Harvard business student, who is set to inherit $400m (278m).

Paltrow, 28, admitted earlier this year that her split with heart throb Brad Pitt had left her with a broken heart.

"When we split up, something changed in me. My heart sort of broke," she said.


Richard's daytime donation

EastEnders actress Wendy Richard has become the latest celebrity to donate money to a special appeal being run by ITV's This Morning programme.

The show is raising cash for a five-year-old girl who requires surgery to treat a severely disfiguring illness.

The soap star presented hosts Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan with a cheque for 2,000.

She said the money was the sum she received from an insurance payout for jewellery stolen during a burglary.


Bank on Spielberg

Oscar-winner Steven Spielberg is the world's most bankable movie director.

Trade paper Hollywood Reporter ranked 800 directors and directing teams according to their ability to secure funds, distribution and box-office on their name alone.

Spielberg also topped the list in 1999.

Films like ET and Schindler's List have taken almost $5.5bn (3.8bn) worldwide.

Jodie Foster was top woman director in 51st place while Spike Lee was the most bankable black director at number 76.


Back to ITV for Catherwood

Channel 5 evening news presenter Andrea Catherwood is to return to ITV in the New Year.

Catherwood joined in January to help launch Channel 5's new-look bulletin.

"It's been a great year presenting 5 News and it's always sad to leave anywhere but I'm looking forward to returning to ITV News," she said.

Catherwood will leave C5 in January.

Her new role will see her work on a range of home and foreign stories, as well as doing some newscasting.


No boot for Live & Kicking

The BBC gave a firm backing to Saturday morning show Live & Kicking despite the newly-revamped show now pulling in half the audience of its ITV rival SM:TV.

New BBC children's programmes controller, Nigel Pickard said it would "evolve" with its new presenting team, led by former Blue Peter star Katy Hill.

However, other programmes are getting a shake-up, with Blue Peter to lose its summer break and run 52 weeks a year, although it will run only twice a week over summer.

Newsround will also move from 1700 to 1725 in winter to boost audiences.

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See also:

07 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Star died of liver disease
11 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Veteran Bill star to leave
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