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Tuesday, October 13, 1998 Published at 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK


Jackson plans his comeback

Jackson: New album in the pipeline

Self-styled King of Pop Michael Jackson is heading back into the recording studio for the first time in three years.

The singer has been more active in the property markets than the pop charts recently - announcing plans for a theme park in Brazil.

But now he has confirmed plans for a new album, his first since 1995's HIStory collection - a commercial and critical failure compared to the success of his 1980s albums like Thriller and Bad.

The subsequent tour was dogged by allegations of child abuse.

Now Jackson, 40, is selecting tracks for the album, but refuses to say when he will appear in public again.

Douglas waits for comeback

[ image: Kirk Douglas: Raring to go at 81]
Kirk Douglas: Raring to go at 81
Veteran actor Kirk Douglas is looking forward to his first role in front of the cameras since his stroke in 1996.

He plays an elderly ex-boxer taken on an exciting road trip by his son and grandson - played by Dan Aykroyd and Corbin Allred - in Sundowning.

Douglas' family - including son Michael - were afraid that shooting on location in Nevada might prove too much for the 81-year-old.

But he thinks differently. "No! I can't wait to be working again," he said. "I've been going crazy sitting around at home. I might even have a fight scene in this picture. There's life in this old dog yet!"

Healy for Art

Heartburn Hotel star Tim Healy is to join the cast of award-winning West End comedy hit Art.

Deadpan comic Jack Dee is returning to the production, although this time he will play a different role.

The revised cast will take over at the Wyndham Theatre from November 3.

Art, which is co-produced by Sean Connery, won Best Comedy at the Olivier Awards and a Tony Award in the US.

Frasier trio Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce and John Mahoney are set to take roles in the Broadway version of the play, about a man who is angry with his best friend for buying what appears to be an all-white painting.

Backstreet Boys in charity single

[ image: Backstreet Boys: Charity hit across Europe]
Backstreet Boys: Charity hit across Europe
A charity single featuring pop stars the Backstreet Boys, Aaron Carter and N-Sync is set to be released in the US next month.

Let The Music Heal Your Soul has already been a Top 10 hit in Spain, Germany, Norway and Switzerland.

The money raised from the single, credited to the Bravo All Stars, will go to the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Foundation.

There is no word of a UK release date.

Coronation Street Alf "to be killed off"

Coronation Street veteran Alf Roberts is set to make his final appearance in the soap when he is killed off on New Year's Eve, according to reports.

Actor Bryan Mosley, 67, has been a regular for 37 years but has rarely been seen recently due to bad health. He has suffered two heart attacks and became ill again in January.

He is expected to die peacefully in his armchair in a special edition of the programme, according to The Mirror.

Cumming set to sign sitcom deal

Scottish actor Alan Cumming is close to signing a deal to star in a US sitcom, according to reports.

Cumming, who was in British sitcom The High Life plus films such as Goldeneye, has been a huge success as the MC in the Broadway production of Cabaret.

Now he is in line for a high profile sitcom on the NBC network. The concept of the show is still being hammered out.

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