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Friday, September 18, 1998 Published at 11:45 GMT 12:45 UK


Girl Power coming to Wembley

The Spices: on their way to Wembley

The Spice Girls and Cleopatra will be putting on a show of Girl Power for 150,000 fans this weekend.

Manchester trio Cleopatra cannot believe their luck in being invited to support the Spice Girls' sell-out Wembley stadium concerts on Saturday and Sunday.

"We are thrilled because we are real Spice Girl fans. Our dream was to play Wembley Stadium and we have succeeded in just eight months as a band," they said.

Cleo, 16, Zainam, 17, and Yonah, 14, have also just landed their own series Comin' Atcha on ITV and a US record deal with Maverick, Madonna's label.

Meanwhile, Spice Girls fans have been warned to arrive early and wrap up warmly for the massive concerts.

Promoters are worried fans may miss some of the show as the groups are due on stage at 7.15pm instead of 8pm as printed on the tickets due to a new curfew on Wembley's pop performances.

The organisers are warning young fans not to come dressed in skimpy outfits in tribute to the stars, as they will suffer from the cold when it gets dark.

A Wembley Stadium spokesman said: "The sensible thing is to bring a warm jacket or jumper and tie it round their waist or whatever if they don't feel cold. We just want to make sure everybody will have a great time."

[ image: Saving Private Ryan is tipped for Oscar glory]
Saving Private Ryan is tipped for Oscar glory
Army honour for Spielberg

Director Steven Spielberg has received the US Army's highest civilian decoration for his gritty World War II film Saving Private Ryan.

He was presented with the Distinguished Civilian Service Award at a ceremony in Arlington, Virginia, also attended by actor Harrison Ford and army veterans.

Presenting the medal, Army Secretary Louis Caldera lauded the film-maker for "reminding Americans of the sacrifices that soldiers make to defend our country."

US Defence Secretary William Cohen said he left his viewing of Spielberg's acclaimed movie in silence, struck by its profound impact.

[ image: Farrow thinks Clinton deserves forgiveness]
Farrow thinks Clinton deserves forgiveness
Stars speak up for Clinton

Actress Mia Farrow has pledged her support for beleaguered President Clinton at a White House function in honour of the Czech president, Vaclav Havel.

"I hope we allow him to continue," Farrow said. "He's been a wonderful president. He's apologized. He's renewed his commitment to his family."

Farrow is not the only actress standing by President Clinton. Whoopi Goldberg also spoke out in his favour while hosting the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and Museum of Tolerance in Beverly Hills.

"I'm black, a woman, Jewish, and I support the President. You are looking at tolerance," she quipped.

And if Clinton is forced to leave office he can rest assured that Goldberg is already planning a future showbiz career for him. "If things don't work out, he can take the centre square in my new programme, Hollywood Squares," she promised.

[ image: Spacey won an Oscar for his role in The Usual Suspects]
Spacey won an Oscar for his role in The Usual Suspects
Brit director to make Spacey muscle movie

Acclaimed British stage director Sam Mendes has been given his big Hollywood break with a contract to direct Kevin Spacey in the comedy American Beauty.

Mendes is currently preparing for the opening night of Blue Room at London's Donmar Warehouse which stars Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman.

His first crack at movie making will begin in Los Angeles this winter and will star Spacey as a man with a tedious job and loveless marriage whose life is transformed through body building.

[ image: Rice is famous for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber]
Rice is famous for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber
Aida opens to acclaim in Atlanta

The Disney musical Aida, written by Elton John and Tim Rice, is said to be thrilling audiences at its preview performances in Atlanta, Georgia.

Titled Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida, it is set to open officially on October 7, with Heather Headley in the title role.

But Disney bosses say the production will need lots of "development time" before it can open on Broadway. A film version is also planned.

[ image: McCartney plans to continue Linda's good work]
McCartney plans to continue Linda's good work
McCartney to keep Linda's crusade alive

Beatles legend, Sir Paul McCartney plans to continue his late wife's animal rights crusade with a series of special concerts sometime next year.

Sir Paul and the Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde hope to enlist Blur, the B-52s, Elvis Costello and Natalie Imbruglia for McCartney's first shows since his wife died in April.

The animal rights movement has lost a "powerful voice" said McCartney, "but my voice is there now".

[ image: Ono will receive the award on Lennon's birthday]
Ono will receive the award on Lennon's birthday
Yoko to receive John's Liverpool award

A scroll declaring John Lennon as a Freeman of the City of Liverpool is to be presented to his widow Yoko Ono.

The presentation will be made by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool in the Strawberry Fields area of Central Park, New York, on October 9, which would have been Lennon's 58th birthday.

The Freedom of the City was posthumously awarded to Lennon in 1984, when the other three Beatles were also given the honour.

[ image: Clooney will leave ER early next year]
Clooney will leave ER early next year
Clooney to play convict in DreamWorks movie

George Clooney, who is set to leave his breakthrough ER role during the hospital drama's next series, is continuing his pursuit of big screen stardom.

He is to produce and star in an action film called The Castle for Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks company.

Clooney will play a prisoner who becomes a reluctant hero by opposing a bid by a five-star general to turn the convict population of a maximum security prison into his own 1,200 man army.

It is hoped that the film will prove more successful than Clooney's last DreamWorks project, the action thriller The Peacemaker, which proved a box office disappointment.

Planet of the Apes star dying

Veteran actor Roddy McDowall, one of Hollywood's most enduring stars, is terminally ill according to reports in the showbiz paper Daily Variety.

A Variety columnist called the home of the Planet of the Apes star, to wish him a happy 70th birthday, only to be told of the actor's incurable cancer.

Best known for playing the chimpanzee Cornelius in four of the Ape films, London-born McDowall's acting career has spanned more than six decades.

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