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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 July, 2004, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
Pulp Fiction star to play Kojak
Pulp Fiction star Ving Rhames is to star in a TV movie adaptation of 1970s cop series Kojak.

Rhames, who played crime boss Marsellus Wallace in the Quentin Tarantino film, will take the lead role made famous by Telly Savalas.

Production is due to begin this month. The original Kojak series was broadcast from 1973-78.

Rhames, 43, will also appear in Mission: Impossible 3 and Night Train, both due to be released next year.

French critics welcome Moore film

Michael Moore's documentary movie Fahrenheit 9/11 has received a warm welcome from critics in France.

The film, which criticises US President George Bush's policy on Iraq, made its debut outside the US on Wednesday.

"Moore's Scud has hit the bullseye," Le Parisien newspaper reported, while Liberation interviewed Moore under the headline We Have To Get Rid of Bush.

Fahrenheit 9/11 won the prestigious Palme d'Or best film award at the Cannes festival in May.

Westlife dancer wins Heat apology

Celebrity magazine Heat has apologised to a lapdancer who claimed she had sex with Westlife singer Bryan McFadden.

Amy Barker said her integrity had been damaged by an October 2002 interview with the star, in which he denied sleeping with her.

But McFadden later admitted a sex act had taken place on a stag night before his wedding to former Atomic Kitten singer Kerry Katona.

Ms Barker's lawyer Graham Atkins said she was "delighted" with the apology.

Sir Paul marks film anniversary

Sir Paul McCartney marked the 40th anniversary of the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night watching a screening with the reunited cast and crew on Monday.

"It's lovely to see you all here again," he told the audience at the film screening in London.

"The film looks so great and as if it was just yesterday - but it wasn't," said the 62-year-old singer.

An anniversary edition of the film, starring The Beatles, is being released on DVD with previously unseen footage.

Singer Weiland's no contest plea

Singer Scott Weiland, former frontman of Stone Temple Pilots who now heads rock group Velvet Revolver, has pleaded no contest to drink-driving charges.

Weiland, 36, will be sentenced in Los Angeles on Thursday.

In January, he was forced to return to a live-in drug detoxification centre after leaving too early.

Weiland recently formed the band Velvet Revolver with members of rock band Guns N' Roses, including guitarist Slash. Their debut album topped the US charts.

Film Council picks new chairman

Stewart Till CBE, the chief executive of United International Pictures, has been named the new chairman of the UK Film Council (UKFC).

Currently deputy chair of the UKFC, he will take over from outgoing chairman Sir Alan Parker CBE on 30 July.

"The UK film industry is rightly renowned for its wealth of talent," he said. "I look forward to helping that talent flourish in the years to come."

Culture secretary Tessa Jowell said he would be "ideal" for the role.

Madonna drops Portuguese concert

Madonna has cancelled her first show in Portugal after she clashed with an evangelical church convention.

Madonna was due to play at Lisbon's Atlantic Pavilion on 12 September as part of her ReInvention tour.

Promoters said the singer wanted to book the venue from 9-13 September, but it overlapped with the Mana Christian Church's convention.

The church refused to change its dates despite pleas from fans and an offer of cash from Madonna's promoter.


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