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Wednesday, 13 February, 2002, 12:26 GMT
Harry Potter up for producers' award
Harry Potter producer David Heyman has been nominated for the Producers Guild of America (PGA) award for motion pictures.

British film-maker Heyman was chosen on Tuesday along with nominees from five other movies, including Barrie Osborne and Tim Sanders for The Lord of the Rings.

They compete with the producers of A Beautiful Mind, musical Moulin Rouge and animated movie Shrek.

The PGA - which will name the winner on 3 March - also released its shortlist of TV nominees, including the producers of World War II series Band of Brothers.


Monsters roars to top of chart

Animated movie Monsters, Inc has come top of the UK box office chart after taking 9.2m in its first weekend.

The film, which follows the adventures of monsters in a "scare" factory, knocked last week's number one, thriller Vanilla Sky, to number four with takings of 972,222.

Fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings remained at number two after making a further 1.2m in its eighth week.

Shallow Hal, in which Gwyneth Paltrow wears a fat suit, also hung on at number three with takings of 1.05m.


Writing honour for Manilow

Singer Barry Manilow has been invited to join America's Songwriters Hall of Fame, along with Sting, Michael Jackson, Randy Newman and Ashford & Simpson.

The 33rd annual induction and awards dinner is set for 13 June in New York, the National Academy of Popular Music and Songwriters Hall of Fame said.

Previous inductees include Burt Bacharach, Elton John, Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder.

Founded in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer and publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond, the academy and hall develop new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships.

Manilow co-wrote some of his biggest hits, which including Could It Be Magic, Even Now and Copacabana (At the Copa).


Dame Judi wins Variety prize

Oscar nominee Dame Judi Dench received another boost by winning the Variety Club's best film actress award.

Ewan McGregor won the prize for best film actor at the awards, held by the entertainment industry's charity for disadvantaged children, and veteran performer Eric Sykes picked up an outstanding contribution prize.

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe won best newcomer, while television impressionist Alistair McGowan collected the club's comedy award, shared with partner Ronni Ancona.

Pop Idol hosts Ant and Dec jointly won the television personality award, best showbusiness personality was Kylie Minogue, and Sophie Ellis Bextor was named best recording artiste.

The event will be shown on BBC One on Wednesday evening.


Brockovich outfit sold

The outfit worn by actress Julia Roberts in her Oscar-winning role in Erin Brockovich has been sold at the Berlin Film Festival.

The outfit fetched 7,000 euros (4,300) from an anonymous bidder, with the money going to children in Afghanistan.

It was sold at the Cinema for Peace black-tie event, which brought together 540 guests, including Catherine Deneuve, Robert Altman and Boris Becker.

All proceeds from the gala were to go to Unicef's programme to help children in war regions, which is focusing on Afghanistan this year.

Among more than a dozen other items auctioned was a director's chair used by Roman Polanski which fetched 5,200 euros (3,200).


Fungus slides back

Fungus the Bogeyman, the lovably disgusting children's character created by Raymond Briggs, is to be brought to life for a television show.

The green character - in whose world smelly and slimy things are considered the best - is set to be the latest star on the BBC's Sunday tea-time television schedule following the successes of shows like Rat and Stig of the Dump.

He was first created 25 years ago by Briggs, whose illustrated books like Fungus, The Snowman and Father Christmas became were hits.

The new show will be a mixture of live action and computer animation like that used on Shrek and Toy Story.

It has been commissioned for the new CBBC channel, which went on air on Monday. No transmission date has yet been fixed.


Mortimer's arthritis fight

Comedian Bob Mortimer has spoken about his battle with rheumatoid arthritis.

He told this week's Radio Times he was in agony recently when the condition, which affects much of his body, spread to his eye.

"Steroids keep it under control - it's treatable, but not curable, and it flares up with a major attack every now and then," he said.

"The doctors can only give you steroids and statistics, such as there's a one-in-ten chance you'll end up in a wheelchair. My mum is crippled with it."

The 42-year-old added: "I've recently started to suffer from iritis, which is when it attacks the iris of the eye. It was absolute agony, but I'm not going to give in to it."


Tartan wedding for Collins

Hollywood star Joan Collins's Peruvian-born fiance will wear a kilt when the pair marry in London on Sunday.

Percy Gibson, who at 36 is 32 years younger than the actress, is reported to have his own tartan because of his mother's Scottish links.

Collins' agent Stella Wilson said: "Percy will be wearing a kilt at the wedding but I don't know the details of what tartan it is."

The venue for the wedding is being kept a closely guarded secret as is the couple's honeymoon destination.

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