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Thursday, February 18, 1999 Published at 15:53 GMT


Oprah film stays away from West End

Oprah Winfrey: Was determined to see Beloved made

The British premiere of Oprah Winfrey's film Beloved is snubbing the bright lights of the West End - in favour of the mean streets of Brixton, south London.

Beloved is based on a novel by Toni Morrison about a former African-American slave visited by the ghost of her dead daughter.

Chat show queen Winfrey, who fought to get the film made, plays the star role of the slave Sethe.

The premiere will raise money for Anti Slavery International, which was set up in the 19th century to fight the trans-Atlantic trade, and now exists to draw attention to contemporary slavery.

"Children trafficked for profit between countries in West Africa, whole families kept like cattle on agricultural estates in south Asia, the organised export of women into domestic slavery in Europe - this is the slavery of the 1990s," a spokesman said.

The premiere will be held on 26 February at Brixton's Ritzy Cinema.

Samuel L Jackson set for Shaft remake

[ image: Samuel L Jackson: Negotiating for Shaft]
Samuel L Jackson: Negotiating for Shaft
Pulp Fiction star Samuel L Jackson is in final negotiations to star in a remake of the classic 1970s movie Shaft.

Director John Singleton is hoping to start work in the summer on a script recently completed by Richard Price.

The original film, released in 1971, was based on a novel by Ernest Tidyman. It is most famous for its soundtrack featuring Isaac Hayes.

Jackson stars in the forthcoming Star Wars: Episode One prequel, to be released in the US in May and the UK in July.

Smoking Barrels fire away in Hollywood

[ image: Vinnie Jones: Shows his silky skills on the silver screen]
Vinnie Jones: Shows his silky skills on the silver screen
British movie hit Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels has had a star-studded Hollywood premiere.

Madonna was among the celebrities at the party for the film, which stars soccer hardman Vinnie Jones as a gangland enforcer.

Reviews of the film have been good, and there are reports that Tom Cruise is considering making a US version of the movie.

It will go on general release across the US on 5 March.

Beans means Brits

[ image: Robbie Williams: Mum's the word]
Robbie Williams: Mum's the word
Robbie Williams celebrated his Brits hat-trick in true party animal style - by eating beans on toast with his mum.

Jan Williams said they went back to his London home after the glitzy ceremony for the humble supper - the former Take That singer's favourite food.

She said, "We did not feel the need to go celebrating after the awards. We simply went back to Robert's flat and chatted about the future."

The Brit Awards
"His next move will be the United States," she added. Last month Williams played a showcase gig in Hollywood, and his album I've Been Expecting You will be released in the US in the spring.

He won best British male, best single and best video at Tuesday night's ceremony at the London Arena.

Donovan admits drugs habit

[ image: Jason Donovan: Admits he still has not given up cocaine]
Jason Donovan: Admits he still has not given up cocaine
Former TV and pop star Jason Donovan has admitted that he still uses the drug cocaine.

"I still have a joint and I still take coke, but not as much as I did two years ago," he said.

Donovan revealed last year that he turned to the drug when he lost his record deal and his leading role in a stage production in Joseph and His Technicolour Dreamwork came to an end.

But the former Neighbours soap star has denied that he is still addicted to the drug: "I don't think you can be addicted to coke because it just makes you go mad," he said.

Donovan is currently touring in the cult musical The Rocky Horror Show playing the transvestite lead Dr Frank-N-Furter. The role was first made famous by the British actor Tim Curry, who starred in the original stage version and the film.

Gibson goes back to school

[ image: Mel Gibson: Donating cash to his old school]
Mel Gibson: Donating cash to his old school
Movie star Mel Gibson has made a £400,000 donation to the Sydney acting school where he was trained.

The gift to the National Institute of Dramatic Art was announced at an event to mark the school's 40th birthday.

The actor was not present as he is currently working on his latest film, The Million Dollar Hotel. Gibson, who now lives in Los Angeles, graduated from the school in 1980.

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