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Saturday, 28 July, 2001, 22:06 GMT 23:06 UK
Teacher wins 40,000 on TV talent show
A teacher and dancer has picked up more than 40,000 by winning TV show This Is My Moment against four other contestants.

Brace Mitchell, 33, from Leytonstone, east London, picked up 80,008 votes worth 50p each in the show hosted by Spice Girl Mel B, making her debut as a prime-time TV presenter.

His version of Stevie Wonder's 1981 Motown classic Lately was a hit with the viewers.

Mel B told him: "Your voice has picked up a fantastic 40,004. I want half, all right?"


Geri joins concert party

Singer Geri Halliwell and pop group Steps are to perform for British troops on a military exercise in Oman.

More than 20,000 British troops - soldiers, sailors and airmen - will take part in the operation called Saif Sareea 2 - Swift Sword - in September and October.

The concerts, hosted by entertainer Bobby Davro, have been lined up by forces charity Combined Services Entertainment which organises numerous live events.

A spokesman for the Ministry Of Defence said: "These shows will be a massive boost to everyone's morale after a few weeks exercising in the desert."


Andie MacDowell to marry again

Four Weddings And A Funeral star Andie MacDowell is to marry a childhood friend.

The actress, 43, accepted an engagement ring last week from Rhett Hartzog, also 43 - a jewellery businessman who she has known since high school.

It will be her second marriage.

MacDowell, who also starred in Groundhog Day and sex, lies and videotape is currently promoting her new film Dinner With Friends.


Blacklist exhibition for Hollywood

Hollywood is to examine the anti-Communist witch hunts that swept the film industry in the late 1940s and early 1950s in a new exhibition.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Thursday that the multi-media exhibition will present a full history of McCarthyism in Hollywood.

The blacklist era saw high-profile actors, writers, directors and producers publicly denounced and forced out of work for being accused of ties to the Communist Party.

The exhibition, which opens in February 2002, will be curated by author Larry Ceplair, who said: "The lessons of time should not be forgotten."


Love challenges rent claim

Rock artist Courtney Love is disputing a claim for back rent on a house in British Columbia, Canada.

She is being sued for $40,000 (28,000) in the British Columbia Supreme Court by Peter Ashby, who claims that two cheques received from Love had been stopped when he tried to cash them.

In a statement on 11 July Love said the agreement was subject to her approval of the home, which she had not seen before and which she said was too big.

No date has been set for the trial, which will take place in Vancouver.


Werewolf set for release

Cult horror An American Werewolf in London is to be released on DVD with digitally-enhanced sound.

BBC Films Online was exclusively told of the news that the eagerly awaited DVD is due for release either on Halloween or 22 October.

As well as 5.1 Dolby Digital Sound the double disc features commentaries from director John Landis and Rick Baker, who won a best make-up Oscar for the movie.

It will also feature out-takes and behind the scenes footage.


Lara statue causes commotion

A six foot high replica of movie and video game star Lara Croft has attracted bids of more than 1,000 from fans.

The statue stands in front of a video game shop in Stafford, as a promotion for both the games and the film of Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie.

The statue is made of plastic but that has not deterred customers from having their pictures taken with it.


Britney and boyfriend may record duet

N'sync vocalist Justin Timberlake has told Rolling Stone magazine he wants to record a duet with his girlfriend, the chart-topping pop star Britney Spears.

Timberlake said he was helping Spears, 19, swap her trademark bubblegum brand of pop for a harder sound.

Now on tour to promote N'sync's new album, Celebrity, released on Monday, he said he hoped they could record a song together when the time was right.

"It definitely would be a spectacle. It would be huge," he told the magazine.


EastEnders actress denies drink driving

EastEnders actress Elaine Lordan has pleaded not guilty to a drink drive charge.

The star, who plays cafe worker Lynne Slater, appeared before magistrates at St Albans.

The court was told the actress was arrested on 3 July in Borehamwood.

She was granted unconditional bail until the trial on 11 October, which is expected to last a day.


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