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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 January, 2004, 11:12 GMT
Hip-hop star gets Hitchhiker role
Hip-hop star Mos Def is to star in the film version of Douglas Adams' novel The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

He will appear as Ford Prefect, the alien who takes earthling Arthur Dent - played by The Office's Martin Freeman - on a strange galactic trip.

Director Garth Jennings begins shooting in April, from a script that writer Karey Kirkpatrick took over after the sudden death of author Adams in 2001.

Mos Def's move to acting includes roles in The Italian Job and Monster's Ball.


Art Garfunkel fights drug charge

Singer Art Garfunkel is contesting a marijuana possession charge after his lawyer appeared in court on Wednesday.

The 62-year-old was charged after police stopped his limousine in upstate New York on 17 January.

Police said an officer smelled marijuana and 6 grams of the drug were found in Garfunkel's jacket pocket.

He could have paid a $100 (61) fine on Wednesday without the matter going further, but decided to fight it and a hearing is now set for 11 February.


Crooner postpones 'bird flu' show

Singer Andy Williams has postponed a concert in Singapore because of the spread of bird flu in Asia.

Williams, 76, had been scheduled to appear on 6 March at the Singapore Indoor Stadium with a troupe of 20 musicians, singers and dancers.

But the show has been put off until July because of the outbreak, which has killed at least eight people.

A spokesman for the show's promoter said "age and health issues" were behind the decision.


Ex-pop star Andre's jungle feast

All 10 contestants in ITV1's I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! will not go hungry after former pop star Peter Andre won his jungle challenge.

Andre overcame his fear of spiders and snakes to win 10 meals on the show's live Bushtucker Trial.

He had to stick his head into eight boxes containing the creatures, using his mouth to dislodge stars in them.

Before the trial, the singer said he was "petrified" - but his success meant all 10 contestants won a meal.


Rings epic heads Empire shortlist

The final part of Lord of the Rings has nine nominations in this year's Empire Awards, hosted by the film magazine and to be decided by public vote.

Return of the King's nominations include best film and best director for Peter Jackson.

Best actor sees Sean Astin and Viggo Mortensen up against Johnny Depp, Hugh Jackman and Daniel Day Lewis.

The Empire Awards will be presented on 4 February at a ceremony at London's Dorchester Hotel and shown live on Sky.



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