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Monday, 12 August, 2002, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Enfield 'denies' Ozzy copy claims
Harry Enfield
Enfield is known for a host of comic characters
Comedian Harry Enfield has reportedly denied basing one of the characters in his new BBC series on Ozzy Osbourne, after the former Black Sabbath singer threatened to sue.

Osbourne's lawyers wrote to Enfield asking him to stop portraying Osbourne or his family in his new TV show Celeb, due to be screened in September, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

But Enfield insisted the show is based on a Private Eye cartoon strip which first appeared in the satirical magazine in 1987.

Enfield's new character is based on fading pop star Gary Bloke, who is too rich to worry if his records sell but still wants to be a celebrity.

Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy is back in the limelight thanks to his reality TV show
But Osbourne, who has seen a resurgence in his career since he featured in his own reality TV show, reportedly believes the series is based on him and his family.

The Telegraph said that a letter sent to Enfield urged him to "cease and desist from the inclusion of any characters in the show base on Mr Osbourne or any other member of his family".

Enfield was adamant that the Osbournes were not even a factor in his writing the show.

"I haven't watched a single Osbourne programme. They're so snooty, New York lawyers, aren't they? Stupid little idiots," he told the Sunday Telegraph.

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne
Sharon Osbourne (right) is being treated for colon cancer

He added he had been writing the scripts for Celeb for two or three years.

Osbourne and his wife Sharon are embroiled in their own legal battle over The Osbournes series.

Threshold TV is suing the family and programme-makers MTV for breach of contract.

It alleged that the deal to make the show with MTV deal violates an intellectual property rights agreement between Threshold and the Osbournes' company, Monowise.

The company is claiming unspecified damages.

Ozzy Osbourne
Threshold producer Gary Binkow has also filed a separate lawsuit against the Osbournes, saying they stole his idea for the show.

The lawsuit, filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, is demanding that Threshold be declared the rightful owner of the series.

It goes as far as alleging that a deal made in 2000 gives the network exclusive rights to Ozzy Osbourne's "name, likeness, image, identity, persona, trademarks and right of publicity".

The Osbournes recently signed a 14m deal for a second series of the reality series which became a surprise hit in the US.

See also:

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