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Monday, October 26, 1998 Published at 16:14 GMT


Titanic steams past video sales record

Titanic video sales record looks unsinkable

Titanic has smashed the record for the fastest selling video ever and may even double the number sold by the previous holder.

In its first week of release, James Cameron's Oscar-winning epic has sold at least 1.8 million copies, easily outstripping the previous record of more than 1.2 million set by The Full Monty earlier this year.

But 1.8 million is just a provisional total - pundits predict Titanic's first week total could be as high as 2.5 million.

Video Home Entertainment editor John Ferguson said: "Titanic had passed The Full Monty's total by the third day of sales.

"It was being sold in supermarkets and on petrol station forecourts - a lot of outlets which don't normally figure in the official charts. We estimate the 1.8 million figure could be 70% of total first week sales."

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, Titanic has become a worldwide phenomenon, becoming the first film to take $1 billion at the box office.

An unprecedented 500 British stores opened at midnight on Sunday last week to launch the eagerly-awaited video.

Travolta given lifetime award

[ image: John Travolta: Career celebrated at Chicago film festival]
John Travolta: Career celebrated at Chicago film festival
Film star John Travolta has received a lifetime achievement award at the 34th Chicago International Film Festival.

His films include hits such as Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction, and he has also been nominated for an Oscar twice.

In his acceptance speech Travolta, 44, praised the festival for showing a broad range of films, declaring "it has cared enough to keep challenging us".

Previous winners of the award include Jodie Foster and Tom Cruise.

Quiz gingers up student life

[ image: Chris Evans: Helped develop new quiz show for friend Macdonald]
Chris Evans: Helped develop new quiz show for friend Macdonald
Chris Evans unveils his latest TV production on Monday night - but viewers won't be seeing him on screen.

The aspiring mogul is behind new BBC Two show Carry On Campus, which probes the academic, domestic and social lives of students as well as just how much they know about their academic discipline.

His Ginger Productions company is making the show, presented by his TFI Friday sidekick Will MacDonald.

But the results range from the slightly worrying to the downright disturbing.

While Britain's finest young minds are well versed in the minutiae of student life, such as the different flavours of doughnuts sold on campus, some were unable to answer basic questions about their academic subjects.

Politics students did not know where the main party political conferences were held, and one admitted: "I'm not sure why I'm at university."

DJ faces the music

[ image: Sir Cliff Richard: Unpopular with radio stations]
Sir Cliff Richard: Unpopular with radio stations
A radio DJ is to learn whether he is to be sacked for playing Sir Cliff Richard's latest single on his show.

Bosses at Merseyside station Magic 1548 suspended Billy Butler and his breakfast show partner Wally Scott after they played Can't Keep This Feeling In twice on last Friday's show.

Sir Cliff, 58, recently accused radio stations of ageism after 240 of them refused to play his new single, and even released a remixed version under a pseudonym, Blacknight.

Many stations later admitted that had they known that Sir Cliff was the artist behind Blacknight, the single would have never made it onto their playlists.

Sarah's the queen of the road

BBC Radio 2's Sarah Kennedy is the favourite female DJ among truckers, according to a new survey.

Though stereotypically portrayed as listening to country and western tunes and having busty pin-ups in their cabs, lorry drivers preferred Ms Kennedy's authoritative tones in the poll by truck maker Scania.

"I'm absolutely flattered that I'm a hit with the truckers - I've never thought of myself as the Betty Grable of the trucking world before," said Kennedy.

"Perhaps lorry drivers could show their appreciation by painting life-size pictures of me on the side of their trucks - don't forget I'm in my 20s and size 10."

Complaints could prompt Street warnings

ITV chiefs should have warned viewers before transmitting the Coronation Street episode featuring the abduction of Toyah Battersby, according to the Independent Television Commission.

During the hour-long special the teenager, played by Georgia Taylor, was seen running away to London and being led on by a man pretending to be her father.

The watchdog rejected complaints about the sinister edge to the show, which several viewers felt could have disturbed youngsters, but said that an announcement before the programme to advise viewers about content would have been "helpful".

It said producers Granada had been asked "to consider providing clear and appropriate information before any future episodes which might contain material potentially disturbing to younger sections of the audience".

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