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Monday, 15 February, 1999, 11:57 GMT
Mr Benn the film star
mr benn
As if by magic, Mr Benn became a film star
Plans have been unveiled to make a film of the 1970s BBC cartoon classic Mr Benn.

Four Weddings And A Funeral star John Hannah has been pencilled in to play the lead role, while Ben Kingsley will star as the shopkeeper.

The cartoon centred around city gent Mr Benn walking into a magic clothes shop and having a different adventure each episode after trying on an outfit.

The film's producers have appealed for more funding before they can start work.

On Thursday it was announced that a new feature film is to be based on the series Thomas The Tank Engine.

Gladiators muscled off air

Jet: Diane Youdale was one of the most popular Gladiators
Gladiators has been axed by ITV after six years because of falling ratings.

The seventh series of the show, hosted by Ulrika Jonsson and Jeremy Guscott , attracted just 5.6m viewers.

Launched in 1992 with Jonsson and soccer star John Fashanu at the helm, it attracted 11 million viewers at its peak.

Based on an American format, the London Weekend Television show invited members of the public to test their strength against the programme's resident Gladiators.

But the programme won't vanish from the channel forever. Controllers are in talks with LWT about developing occasional special Gladiators shows.

Director of programmes David Liddiment said: "Every show of this kind has a lifespan, and it's now time for ITV to move on."

Andrews considers suing over throat op

julie andrews
Julie Andrews: Feels she is in denial over her throat operation
Oscar-winning actress Julie Andrews has said she is considering legal action after the "routine" operation she that left her unable to sing.

Andrews told US chat show host Barbara Walters that she is optimistic about singing again - but she feels she is in denial as the alternative would be devastating.

The Sound of Music star said her voice was not supposed to be threatened by the operation she had to remove non-cancerous throat nodules three years ago.

She said: "To not sing with an orchestra, to not be able to communicate through my voice which I've done all my life and not to be able to phrase lyrics and give people that kind of joy, I think I would be totally devastated."

Paltrow and Fiennes favourite Valentines

gwyneth paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow: Film favourite for romance fans
Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes, the stars of Shakespeare in Love, have been named the year's most romantic film couple by filmgoers.

Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage came second in the survey for a US cinema chain in City of Angels, followed by Liv Tyler and Ben Affleck in Armaggedon.

Ryan also came fourth with Tom Hanks in You've Got Mail, and Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore were a popular fifth in The Wedding Singer.

Garland's lost tapes to go on sale

A wealth of newly-discovered material by singing legend Judy Garland is set to be relased in the US.

Over 100 audio and video tapes of the late singer's TV show were kept for 30 years in the basement of a former business associate of her husband Frank Luft.

Included are duets with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand, to be released on the CD Judy Duets. Luft called the discovery "staggering".

See also:

20 Nov 98 | Entertainment
Andrews 'may never sing again'
26 Dec 98 | Entertainment
Andrews hopes to sing again
11 Feb 99 | Entertainment
Thomas steams into Hollywood
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