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EDITIONS
 Monday, 16 December, 2002, 14:41 GMT
Actor Nail wins libel payout
Jimmy Nail in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet
Jimmy Nail was accused of throwing a "showbiz strop"
Jimmy Nail, one of the stars of Auf Wiedersehen Pet, has won undisclosed damages from newspaper publishers after they ran stories claiming he had been difficult and demanding during filming.

Newcastle Chronicle and Journal Ltd, the publishers of the Sunday Sun, and columnist Karen Wight have agreed to pay the star damages after a statement was read in the High Court on Monday morning.

Manuel Barca, the counsel for the publishers and Ms Wight, apologised on behalf of his clients for causing Mr Nail any distress or embarrassment.

Mr Nail was not present in court, but his solicitor, Martin Cruddace, told Mr Justice Morland at the court on Monday the allegations were made in Karen Wight's gossip column in the Sunday Sun newspaper.

In the article Wight alleged the star had insisted he be moved to a more luxurious hotel than the rest of the cast while filming the show's recent episodes.

There were also claims that Mr Nail had refused to attend a press launch in his home town, Newcastle, because he was not being paid an appearance fee.

The allegations were also printed on the paper's website.
Auf Wiedersehen, Pet in Arizona
The programme saw the old crew reunited in America

Ms Wight was also said to have "dished the dirt" on the star's "rude" behaviour during her show on the city's Galaxy 105 radio station.

Mr Cruddace said: "Newcastle Chronicle and Journal Ltd and Ms Wight accepted that all the allegations were totally untrue and without any substance whatsoever.

"The actor did attend the press launch in Newcastle and neither requested or received an appearance fee.

"As such, the publication of the allegations had caused grave damage to his personal and professional reputation and he had suffered considerable embarrassment and distress.

"This was particularly acute given the timing of the publication to coincide with the new series."

Popularity

Mr Cruddace added that the suggestion Nail had "forgotten" his roots was particularly upsetting as he was "extremely proud" of his background.

The actor had always "championed the North East and striven to bring business and work to the area", he said.

Mr Nail, who plays Oz in the series, took part in the reunion episode, the first new episode of the show in 15 years.

The programme saw the British builders trying to build a bridge in Arizona.

The BBC is considering making another series of the show after the popularity of this year's episodes.

More than 12 million people tuned in to the first episode of the new show when it aired in May, and the series won best comedy drama at Saturday's comedy awards.

See also:

10 Oct 02 | Entertainment
19 Sep 02 | Entertainment
14 May 02 | Entertainment
13 May 02 | England
29 Apr 02 | Entertainment
28 Apr 02 | Entertainment
Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


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