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Tuesday, 14 August, 2001, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
Beatles' pizza-stained paper sold
A pizza-stained piece of paper signed by three of the four Beatles has been sold for A$48,000 (17,441) to an anonymous collector at an auction in Melbourne.

It may be worth more, if it can be confirmed that the stain is actually the thumb print of one of the Beatles.

John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison signed the paper during their 1964 tour of Australia. Drummer Ringo Starr had laryngitis and was not on the tour.

A fan managed to get the autographs while the band was staying in a hotel in Adelaide.


Ellis Bextor 'set to miss top spot'

Sophie Ellis Bextor, who beat Posh Spice to number one last summer, looks set to be beaten to the top this year by boy band Five, according to predictions for this weekend's chart.

Five look set to score their third number one with Let's Dance and beat Ellis Bextor's solo debut, Take Me Home, into second place, according to industry figures.

Bextor guested on Spiller's single Groovejet which beat Victoria Beckham's collaboration with Truesteppers Out Of Your Mind to number one last year.


American writer dies

American writer Elizabeth Cavanna Harrison, who wrote more than 80 romances, mysteries and children's books in a 45-year career, has died at her home in France on Monday aged 92.

Most of Harrison's books were written under her maiden name, Betty Cavanna. She also used the pen names Betsy Allen and Elizabeth Headley.

Some of her stories, such as Going on Sixteen (1945) and A Girl Can Dream (1947) detailed the difficulties of adolescence, while two of her later mystery books, Spice Island Mystery (1970) and The Ghost of Ballyhooly (1972), were runners-up for the Edgar Allan Poe Award.

Services were planned on Thursday in Vezelay, in France's Burgundy region, where Harrison moved two years ago. She will be buried at a family plot in the Vezelay cemetery.


Call centre worker wins comedy award

A call centre worker and part-time stand up comic, Alan Carr, 24, has won the BBC's New Comedy Awards.

Mr Carr, from Manchester, beat off opposition from 800 other hopefuls in Monday night's grand final to win 1,000 and the opportunity to work for digital television channel BBC Choice.

He has been performing at "open mic" nights at pubs and clubs for a year, while working at a call centre for a major bank, dealing with customers who have lost or stolen their credit cards.

Previous winners have included comic Peter Kay, who later fronted his own series on Channel 4.


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