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Sunday, 6 January, 2002, 16:13 GMT
Mulholland Drive named best film
Mulholland Drive has been named best picture of 2001 by the National Society of Film Critics.

Robert Altman's Gosford Park came in second in the best picture voting, while The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring placed third.

The group of 52 newspaper and magazine film critics held its 36th awards ceremony in Manhattan.

Naomi Watts won best actress for Mulholland Drive while Gene Hackman walked off with best actor for The Royal Tenenbaums.


Disney director dies

David Swift, who wrote and directed the Walt Disney movies Pollyanna and The Parent Trap, has died of a heart attack aged 82.

Swift joined Walt Disney Studios in the 1930s and worked as an animator on Peter Pan and Snow White before moving into directing and producing movies.

He helped turn Hayley Mills into a teenage star in The Parent Trap.

Swift later directed episodes of TV shows including Eight is Enough, Barney Miller and The Love Boat.


Arrests made after Novak burglary

Three men have been arrested on charges of stealing firearms and tools worth more than $20,000 (13,900) from the actress Kim Novak's country home near Oregon, US.

They were released on bail following charges of criminal conspiracy after Novak's husband, Dr Bob Malloy, reported the crime on 26 December.

The stolen property was recovered but the police said they expected to make more arrests in the case.

Novak, 68, is best known as the female star of the 1955 film Picnic and the 1958 Alfred Hitchcock classic Vertigo.


Big Brother winner to present SM: TV Live

Big Brother winner Brian Dowling has signed up to present ITV's hit children's weekend entertainment show SM:TV Live from 5 January.

Dowling - who won the 70,000 prize in the second TV series of Big Brother in July - will join presenters Cat Deeley and James Redmond.

Dowling and model Tess Daly are new recruits to SM: TV Live following the departure of the popular duo Ant and Dec.

Former air steward Dowling told the Sun that he was "absolutely thrilled" to have been offered the new job.


New face for BBC Natural History

Saba Douglas-Hamilton has been lined up as a new presenter for shows made by the BBC's respected Natural History Unit in Bristol.

Douglas-Hamilton, 31, landed the role after travelling to the UK to discuss work on a documentary about her conservationist father Ian Douglas-Hamilton.

She has had substantial first-hand experience of the subject matter favoured by the NHU since spending much of her life with animals while growing up in Africa.

The NHU is famous for making ground-breaking and celebrated series such as Life on Earth, fronted by the unit's best known face David Attenborough, and Walking with Dinosaurs.


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