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Thursday, 28 March, 2002, 16:09 GMT
Connery to lead US Tartan Day
Actor Sean Connery is to lead 10,000 bagpipers through the centre of New York as part of a record-breaking parade.

The former James Bond star will be joined by the city's mayor Michael Bloomberg to mark Tartan Day, an event that aims to strengthen ties between Scotland and the US.

Pipers from 30 countries will take part, including bands from Japan, Trinidad, Australia and Pakistan.

Scottish actor Ewan McGregor family's band will also travel as part of a British contingent for the parade on 5 April.

Hobbit first edition sold at auction

A first edition copy of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit has fetched 7,000 at auction.

The book, containing a number of colour illustrations by the author, was said to be in such good condition because its owner, a woman now in her 80s, did not read all of it because it gave her nightmares.

Head of books at auctioneers Woolley and Wallis, Bill Hoade, said: "It is rare to find a copy in such good condition because it is such a popular and literally well-read book."

Prices paid for Tolkien's books have risen since the release of the Oscar-winning film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Bruce Lee museum opens

A museum dedicated to Hong Kong martial arts icon Bruce Lee has opened in China.

It features letters from Lee, as well as film posters, photographs and other memorabilia.

Lee died under suspicious circumstances from a cerebral oedema at a friend's house in Kowloon Tong in 1973 while at the height of his fame.

He starred in Enter the Dragon and Fist of Fury.

Lucy named bachelor king

Footballers' Wives actor Gary Lucy has been named Britain's most eligible bachelor.

The former Hollyoaks star beat off competition from all walks of life including a professional rugby player and a fireman to win the title.

Lucy, 20, said: "I'm absolutely thrilled. I'm happy I didn't come last and I didn't think I would win at all."

The contest was organised by women's magazine Company.

Darius backs blood appeal

Pop Idol star Darius Danesh has given his blessing to a new blood donor appeal.

The 21-year-old is lending his support to the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service's Easter Campaign.

He said: "We run around in our everyday lives and we don't really think about the significance of giving blood."

Darius finished third in the ITV1 talent search and is currently on tour with the rest of the Pop Idol finalists.

'Totstars' looks for young singers

A new TV talent search, dubbed Totstars, is to look for children to become the latest singing sensation.

In the style of hit TV show Pop Idol, the competition, on breakfast show GMTV will see hopefuls between the ages of five and 11 compete for a record contract and a stage school place.

The man who discovered Charlotte Church, Jonathan Shalit, and actress Claire Sweeney will be among the judges who will whittle down the entries before the public get the chance to vote for the winner.

"We have already received hundreds of entries. The quality of the singers has been amazing," GMTV's editor Martin Frizell said.

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