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Monday, August 24, 1998 Published at 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK


Meet Joe Black - eventually

Brad Pitt: Over-budget, overdue, but still in demand

Hollywood heart-throb Brad Pitt's new film Meet Joe Black is reportedly weeks behind schedule and $20m over budget.

The romantic drama, which also stars Sir Anthony Hopkins, is also believed to be nearly three hours long, and costing nearly $60m.

Universal Pictures chairman Casey Silvers admits the film is running behind schedule and over budget, but insists the finished product will be cut down to around two-and-a-half hours.

Mr Silvers said the film, inspired by the 1934 movie Death Takes A Holiday, is "a first class productions and a great movie," adding director Martin Brest "is a perfectionist".

[ image: Stanley Donen: He loved his Oscar so much he went back to work]
Stanley Donen: He loved his Oscar so much he went back to work

Donen sings in the rain again

Veteran director Stanley Donen, who stole the show with a soft shoe shuffle at this year's Oscar ceremony, is coming out of retirement at the age of 74.

The director of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and Singin' In The Rain, Donen will be making his TV directing debut with a two-hour-long adaptation of the hit play Love Letters for American network ABC

He won an honorary Oscar for his career earlier this year, but has been in retirement since his last film, Blame It On Rio, in 1984.

[ image: Victoria and Mel B: Will nappies be advertised on tour?]
Victoria and Mel B: Will nappies be advertised on tour?
The Spice Girls - after this break

The Spice Girls have found a way of paying for their latest additions - showing commercials on video screens during their US tour.

With Posh Spice Victoria Adams and Scary Spice Mel B both reportedly pregnant, the foursome are raking in extra revenue from ads shown before the band come on stage and during the intermission.

It's the first time advertising has been used in pop concerts, and music industry pundits predict more acts will follow the Spice Girls' lead.

[ image: Cher: Perplexing movie man Zeffirelli]
Cher: Perplexing movie man Zeffirelli
Cher brings entourage for Zefirelli movie

Movie maestro Franco Zeffirelli is bemused with Cher's attitude to his new movie Tea With Mussolini - after she turned up on set with her own make-up artist, hairdresser and personal secretary.

Dame Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright and Lily Tomlin are also starring in the film, but Cher was the only one to bring along an entourage.

The New York Times also reports she was the only star to demand a villa, which she later rejected as inadequate.

The paper quotes Zeffirelli as saying: "I have problems with American actresses. They tend to complicate issues.

"Cher is very insecure, she wants to express her talent. It's constructive but it can be an agonising process."

Channel 5 grilled over burger ad blunder

Channel 5 has been criticised by a TV watchdog after screening a fast food advert during its soap Family Affairs - with both featuring the same actor.

Two viewers complained to the Independent Television Commission after they saw Stephen Hoyle, who plays Liam Trip in the serial, appear in the ad for a burger chain.

The ITC upheld the complaints, warning that the content of ads and programmes must be kept separate.

Channel 5 apologised for the breach of rules, blaming the incident on an administrative error.

A Tribe Called Quest call it a day

Hip-hop pioneers A Tribe Called Quest are splitting after weeks of speculation about their future.

They will be playing a farewell college tour in the US next month, followed by their fifth and final album, The Love Movement, due for release on September 28.

The group are currently touring the US with the Beastie Boys.

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