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Sunday, 22 April, 2001, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
Search is on for new boy band
A management firm which handles chart act Northern Line and Hollywood star Jennifer Lopez is scouring the nation to assemble the next Westlife or Five.

A major record label is backing the project which is expected to launch the band of talented wannabes next year.

ABC management is looking for 16 to 22-year-olds and kick offs the search in Cardiff on Saturday.

The company's managing director Ashley Tabor said: "There are a lot of people who will cynically say `not another one', but there is always room for more.


Stolen paintings recovered in France

Four stolen impressionist paintings, one by Pisarro, have been recovered by French Police.

The four small paintings were stolen from the Camille Pisarro Museum in June when thieves disabled the alarm system and broke a window to get into the gallery.

Two men were arrested after they tried to sell the paintings to an art dealer.

Both were charged with possession of stolen property, though they deny having taken the works.


Besson and Reno collaborate on new film

Film director Luc Besson and fellow Frenchman, actor Jean Reno, have reunited for a new film project.

Reno, who has enjoyed Hollywood success in movies such as Mission: Impossible and Godzilla, came up with the idea for comedy action thriller Wasabi with Besson.

Besson directed Les Visiteurs, the second biggest French film of all time.

But Reno's americanised version of the film, Just Visiting, has proved a big disappointment at the US box office.


Hollywood producer Jack Haley Jr dies

Producer, writer and actor Jack Haley Jr has died in California aged 67.

Haley produced numerous films and TV specials including a number of Academy Award shows.

Haley was the son of Jack Haley who played the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz and in 1974 he married Liza Minelli, who is the daughter of Judy Garland who played Judy.

Haley and Minelli divorced in 1979, but remained close friends.


Iranian director rejects US prize

Iranian director Ja'far Pahahi has announced that he wants to give back the US Film Critics Association Freedom of Expression prize which he received last year.

Pahahi - the director of Oscar nominated film The White Balloon - says he wants it to give it back in anger at the treatment by officials of Iranian nationals upon arrival in the US.

According to the Los Angeles Times the director was held at New York's JFK airport for 12 hours on Friday.

The delay made him decide to take a flight back to Iran - canceling his agreement to attend the first night ceremony of a US movie.


Radio 1 Host signs up for talent show

DJ Mark Radcliffe has been signed up to lead a Popstars-style nationwide talent hunt.

The Radio 1 host - who presents the early afternoon show with sidekick Marc "Lard" Riley - will front Sky One's show Next! later this year.

Radcliffe, one-time Breakfast Show host, will follow in the footsteps of "Nasty" Nigel Lythgoe by giving his opinions on up to 2,000 wannabes.

A hi-tech mobile studio will stop at UK shopping centres to film audition tapes for a 13-part series of half-hour shows.

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