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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 May, 2003, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
Springer unveils villain role
Jerry Springer
Jerry Springer plays a villainous TV producer in the film
US talk show host Jerry Springer has visited the Cannes film festival to promote his first major film role.

Citizen Verdict is a parody of reality television, where criminals are tried on TV, and if found guilty are executed live on air.

The film, financed by Cardiff-based production company Aquarius Films, sees Springer playing an evil producer.

He said the film was not completely far-fetched.

It is the first time I have been in a movie where I am not playing myself or someone like me
Jerry Springer

"I guess it's not that unbelievable. Right now we have voters at home voting someone off Big Brother out of the house.

"What's going to happen when viewers at home decide who lives and who dies based on a criminal trial?"

Springer said he had enjoyed playing a movie villain.

"I am the bad guy. How do you imagine that?," he said.

"It is the first time I have been in a movie where I am not playing myself or someone like me. In other words, I am supposed to act in this one."

The film also stars Armand Assante, who plays the TV show's liberal defence lawyer, and Jaws star Roy Scheider as the governor of Florida.

In the film, Springer's character manages to persuade the governor to allow him to televise the trials and executions.

Springer's biggest role before Citizen Verdict was playing himself in the Mike Myers comedy Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

Political hopes

Springer, whose notorious TV talk show has included episodes detailing prostitution and transsexuals, says his programme is set to continue.

But he said it may end if he decides goes into politics, as a candidate for senator of Ohio.

"I have to decide whether I am going back into politics," he said.

"I have to decide by July whether I am running for the US Senate. If I am, then I'll stop the show."

Before his television career, Springer was the mayor of Cincinnati in 1979.

Meanwhile, a real-life Premiership football team is to be cast in a new film, it was announced in Cannes on Wednesday.

The untitled script sees a young football player from Los Angeles travel to England to play in a team.

Producers have not yet decided which team will take part in the film, which has a 12.3m budget.

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