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Wednesday, 19 September, 2001, 17:30 GMT 18:30 UK
First TOTP awards launched
A line-up of star bands, including Westlife, Hear'Say and Atomic Kitten are to perform at the first Top of the Pops awards.

The ceremony will be hosted by Jamie Theakston and a mystery guest in Manchester on 30 November.

Nominated acts in eight categories will be voted for by the public and the show will be broadcast on BBC One in December.

"I have done some big events in the past but I think this is the biggest and the most exciting," said Theakston.


Rattle signs up for Berlin

British conductor Sir Simon Rattle has signed a 10-year contract with the Berlin Philharmonic after the city reassured the British star about funding and independence of the orchestra.

The signing, postponed for a week because of the attacks in the US, comes a day after conductor Daniel Barenboim agreed to stay on as artistic director of Berlin's Staatsoper opera house.

"Many thanks to the city of Berlin and to those politicians who worked so hard to make this possible and to my last three illustrious forbears," said Rattle, who stars as conductor next year.


Everett and Robbie duet

My Best Friend's Wedding star Rupert Everett has teamed up with pop star Robbie Williams for a Frank Sinatra number.

The pair collaborate on They Can't Take That Away From Me on Williams' forthcoming Sinatra tribute album.

Williams has previously revealed that there is also a duet with Moulin Rouge actress Nicole Kidman on the album.

The singer described his duet with Everett as a "big gay ballad".


Canadian children's TV legend dies

Ernie Coombs, who delighted Canadian children with puppets, has died. He was 73.

Coombs' television alter-ego was Mr Dressup, a kindly figure who was on-air for decades.

He was born in the US, but moved to Canada in 1963 and became a Canadian citizen in 1994.

Prime Minister Jean Chretien called the entertainer a "Canadian icon" and one that will be "remembered for generations to come".


'London Vanishes' play goes ahead despite attacks

A project to develop the UK's first mass-participation interactive play will go ahead, despite its plotline.

London Vanishes tells the chilling story of a disappearing capital city - the title had been agreed before the attacks on the US.

Organisers say they will still strive to put together the one-act play written through contributions from the public.

"The timing could not have been worse," said organiser Terri Paddock, a US citizen based in London.


Kylie new face of Eurostar

Australian pop star Kylie Minogue has been unveiled as the new face of Channel Tunnel train operator Eurostar.

The singer is due to appear in a TV ad which shows her travelling through the tunnel to Paris for a day's shopping.

Kylie follows in the footsteps of actor John Malkovich who was the face of Eurostar's last advertising campaign.

The advert will be shown on Friday evening during Coronation Street.

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