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Friday, 26 July, 2002, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
EastEnders Tom bids farewell
EastEnders actor Colm O Maonlai, who plays fireman Tom Banks, is to leave the soap later this year.

An EastEnders spokeswoman denied reports that he had been fired.

"He was brought in to play out a specific storyline and he will be on screen until late autumn," she said.

Banks had made a "fantastic contribution" to the soap and was due to "go out with a bang", she added.


Actor Blake denied bail

A court has rejected actor Robert Blake's plea to be freed on bail so he can help defend himself against charges that he murdered his wife.

The Los Angeles court denied without comment Blake's petition for bail, as well as a request to drop a charge of lying in wait against the Baretta star.

Blake's lawyer said the decision was irresponsible and he intends to appeal.

Prosecutors say Blake shot and killed his wife Bonny Lee Bakely in May 2001 as she sat in his car in Los Angeles.


The Fountain to start flowing

Warner Brothers has finally given the greenlight to sci-fi epic The Fountain starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.

With a budget of more than $70m (50m) the film begins production in October in Sydney, Australia.

Filming was due to start a year ago, but the studio pulled the plug last summer when Blanchett became pregnant.

In The Fountain Pitt plays a man who lives in the present as well as both 500 years in the past and the future.


Travolta unphased by air disaster movies

Post-11 September fears do not seem to have affected John Travolta too much - the movie star has revealed he is a big fan of aviation disasters - on the screen.

The Pulp Fiction actor, who is currently piloting a Boeing 707 around the world, says his favourite airline movie is the 1970 disaster film Airport.

He especially likes the scene where the bomb-stricken Boeing 707 makes an emergency landing on a snowy runaway.

The aviation buff said he also liked 1954's The High and the Mighty.


Mamma Mia is Vegas bound

The producers of the smash hit musical, Mamma Mia are to produce a show in the casino capital, Las Vegas, USA, it has been revealed.

Former Abba stars and the show's producers Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus are hoping to open the Abba musical in Las Vegas in February 2003, according to industry website, Variety.

As well as Broadway, the musical is currently playing in Toronto before touring to Cleveland and San Francisco.

The show has proved a huge hit in London since it opened in April 1999.


Charity prize for Big Brother host

Big Brother presenter Davina McCall has been given an award for her charity work.

She is only the second person to have been given an Honorary MV by the Millennium Volunteers, a government-backed programme which encourages young people to undertake 200 hours of voluntary work each year.

McCall, who is patron of Focus Counselling Services, said she was "absolutely delighted" to have won the award.

Prince William won the first award last year for his voluntary work in Chile.

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