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Friday, 17 November, 2000, 17:20 GMT
Beatles 'brought down Communism'
The Beatles helped bring down Soviet Communism, a new documentary screened in the US claims.

The two-hour film, entitled The Beatles Revolution, explores the Fab Four phenomenon, featuring interviews with President Bill Clinton, Rolling Stones stars Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and author Salman Rushdie.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest director Milos Forman says in the programme: "It sounds ridiculous but it's not. I'm convinced the Beatles are partly responsible for the fall of Communism."

Canadian-based academic Dr Yury Pelyoshonok, who grew up in the USSR in the 1960s, backs up his claim.

"The Beatles had this tremendous impact on Soviet kids. The Soviet authorities thought of The Beatles as a secret Cold War weapon," he says.

"The kids lost their interest in all Soviet unshakeable dogmas and ideals, and stopped thinking of an English-speaking person as an enemy.

"That's when the Communists lost two generations of young people. That was an incredible impact."

There are no plans at present to show Friday's ABC documentary in the UK.


My Family to return

BBC One sitcom My Family has been recommissioned for a second series.

The decision was taken after figures showed the programme had enjoyed the most successful debut of a BBC One situation comedy for five years.

More than 12 million people tuned in for the final two episodes of the series, which stars Robert Lindsay as a grouchy dentist and Zoe Wanamaker as his wise-cracking wife.

The second series will be 13 episodes long and will be co-written by American creator Fred Barron, who has written for US hits Seinfeld and The Larry Sanders Show.

BBC One controller Lorraine Heggessey said: "This is exactly the kind of comedy I'm looking for on BBC One - a great cast, a funny script and a pacy production that strikes a chord with millions of viewers."


Globe honour for Pacino

Al Pacino will be presented with the special Cecil B DeMille award at the 2001 Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles.

Pacino was selected by the Hollywood Press Association's board of directors, and the award will be presented at the Golden Globes ceremony on 21 January.

Pacino has been nominated for 13 Golden Globes and he won best actor trophies twice, for Scent of A Woman and Serpico.

Previous Cecil B DeMille award winners include Barbra Streisand, Jack Nicholson, Sir Sean Connery, Sophia Loren, Shirley MacLaine and Robert Redford.

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16 Nov 00 | UK
Beatle's attacker 'insane'
14 Nov 00 | Entertainment
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