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Tuesday, 13 March, 2001, 17:44 GMT
Victoria Wood recovers after surgery
Comedienne Victoria Wood is recovering at home following an emergency operation to remove a growth in her womb at the weekend.

A publicist for the star said she underwent surgery after being admitted to a north London hospital on Friday with severe stomach pains.

Woods, 47, was allowed to return to her home in Highgate, North London on Monday after being told to take total rest for the next few weeks.

This means she has cancelled a number of warm-up shows planned ahead of her UK live stage tour, due to begin in May.

Her publicist said: "Victoria was in no danger at any point, the operation was successful.


Baddiel and Skinner head to West End

Comedy duo David Baddiel and Frank Skinner are set to bring their successful improvised couch-based TV series to the West End.

The pair will perform their unscripted and uncensored show, Baddiel & Skinner Unplanned, at the Shaftesbury Theatre for three weeks beginning next month.

Having completed two successful series, the programme was recently nominated for the prestigious Golden Rose award at the Montreux TV festival.


Rutles sequel in pipeline

Former Monty Python Eric Idle is working on a sequel to The Rutles: All You Need is Cash - his 1978 spoof of the Beatles.

"I have an extraordinary cast and I tracked down all the original Rutles material and out-takes which I have been editing," Idle told the Los Angeles Times.

The new "mockumentary" will be called The Rutles: Evolution, and will feature celebrity interviews with Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, Steve Martin and Salman Rushdie.


Parton in court over mother's estate

Dolly Parton and 11 brothers and sisters are going to court to settle a dispute over the competency of their 77-year-old mother.

The singer and siblings filed a lawsuit seeking to have Avie Parton declared incompetent so one of them can be appointed to handle her estate - valued at around $1m.

But two siblings - twins Freida and Floyd Parton - have sided with their mother and say she is capable of taking care of her affairs, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Parton won a Grammy award this year for best bluegrass album.

Harrison Ford justifies fee

Harrison Ford's spokeswoman has rejected reports that the star is being paid $25m (17m) for 20 days' work in the film "K19: The Widowmaker".

While acknowledging that reports of the fee are correct, Patricia McQueeney points out that Ford has spent months working on the script and casting.

"The shoot is four-and-a-half months long and he's working every day," she said.

The film, based on the true events of a 1961 Russian submarine disaster, has angered the remaining survivors of K-19 who have claimed they are represented as "technically ignorant drunken morons."


Oscar parties start early

Four Hollywood studios have switched the traditional after-ceremony Oscar parties to the night before, reports Variety magazine.

Fatigue from the long awards ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium is one reason.

But one studio executive also pointed out that, "The night before the awards, the nominees are all still winners."

The four studios - all nominated this year for best pictures - are Universal, DreamWorks, USA Films and Miramax.

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