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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 19:05 GMT
Branagh back on London stage
Actor Kenneth Branagh has announced that he is to return to the London stage for the first time in more than a decade.

Branagh, who has recently enjoyed renewed fame as Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will star in David Mamet's Edmond at the National Theatre.

He started his career at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and has been seen on stage elsewhere in the UK in recent years.

His London return will come in July and his new part is described as "as challenging a role as anything in contemporary theatre" by National Theatre director Nicholas Hytner.

Bashir 'should grill Gates'

Interviewer Martin Bashir should tackle Microsoft boss Bill Gates for his next celebrity exposť, TV viewers have decided.

In a poll on Radio Times magazine's website, 37% of readers said Bashir - who recently interviewed Michael Jackson - should set his sights on Mr Gates next.

The multi-billionaire came ahead of Prime Minister Tony Blair, chosen by 27% of readers.

A further 18% said they would like to see the life of pop star Madonna scrutinised by Bashir.

Caprice collapses during show

Model-turned-actress Caprice collapsed during a performance of West End musical Rent on Tuesday.

She was replaced by an understudy during the interval after collapsing on her way off stage towards the end of the first half.

Doctors have told her to rest for a week, but she is hoping to be back on stage by Thursday.

The collapse was put down to a hectic schedule with seven performances per week and problems sleeping.

Terror fears scupper Sugababes trip

Pop group Sugababes have cancelled a promotional trip to Denmark because of fears of terrorist attacks.

The band members have said they became afraid to fly after seeing pictures of tanks and army personnel at Heathrow Airport last week.

"I think there are certain places you can travel to," singer Mutya Buchanan said.

"But I think if it's just to do another TV show, I know it's bad to say, but if it's one TV, then I don't think you should risk your life for it."

Hudson to host special effects Oscars

Actress Kate Hudson is to host a special Academy Awards ceremony for special effects ahead of the main Oscars ceremony.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Scientific and Technical Awards will give out prizes - including three Oscars statuettes - on 1 March.

Oscar winners will include production companies Alias/Wavefront and Panavision for their achievements with special effects.

Hudson, who is Goldie Hawn's daughter and was nominated for an Oscar for Almost Famous in 2001, will also present a special effects slot at the main Oscars ceremony on 23 March.

Stage design legend dies

One of the pioneers of 20th Century theatre design, Tanya Moiseiwitsch, has died aged 88.

Ms Moiseiwitsch, who lived in Kensington, central London, made her name internationally in costume, set and stage design.

Her career began in London in 1934 and she went on to work in Italy, the US, Canada and Australia.

Ms Moiseiwitsch designed the bold "thrust" stage for the Shakespeare Festival Theatre in Stratford, Ontario, which became the model for the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and the Chichester Festival Stage.

Boost in battle with radio pirates

A crackdown on pirate radio has been hailed as a success after convictions more than doubled between 2001 and 2002.

Some 49 people were convicted of offences connected with pirate radio in 2002 - up from 20 in 2001.

The number of pirate radio stations operating in the UK has dropped from 248 to 209, the Department of Trade and Industry said.

"It is clear that the tough stance we are taking with illegal broadcasters is paying off, and the tide is slowly turning against the pirates," telecoms and radio minister Stephen Timms said.




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