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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 July, 2004, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
Cartoon channel urges kids to play
US cartoon channel Nickelodeon has said it will go off-air for an afternoon later this year to urge children to play outside.

The turn-off is planned for noon on 2 October. The channel will show a graphic urging children to go outside.

They're not doing as much after-school play as they used to," network president Cyma Zarghami said.

When the channel comes back on air it will show a music and sports special encouraging healthy living.


Controversial Dutch director dies

Dutch film director Wim Verstappen, best-known for his controversial film Blue Movie, has died of cancer aged 67, Dutch media reported Sunday.

The director is best known for his contentious 1971 film Blue Movie, considered to be the first Dutch pornographic film.

Her later went on to direct the World War 2 drama Pastorale 1943, which starred Rutger Hauer.

He won the Dutch Gold Calf in 1995 for services to the film industry.


Star Aniston signs up with Owen

Friends star Jennifer Aniston has signed on to play opposite British actor Clive Owen in a new film.

She has joined the cast of Derailed, a film about an advertising executive whose life changes drastically when he misses his train.

Swedish director Mikael Hafstrom, who made the film Evil, will direct the film, which will be shot in London and Chicago from September.

Owen is currently starring in the film King Arthur.


Venice festival picks 2004 jury

Actress Scarlett Johansson and directors John Boorman and Spike Lee will head the jury at this year's Venice Film Festival.

The jury, announced on Friday, will pick a Golden Lion for best film and several Silver Lions at the festival, held in September.

Other members of the jury come from Germany, Italy and Serbia-Montenegro.

Last year the Golden Lion was one by Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev's debut The Return.


Singer Badu gives birth to daughter

Grammy award-winning singer Erykah Badu has given birth to a daughter.

The singer, who has named the girl Puma, celebrated the birth of her second child earlier this month, according to People magazine.

Puma was born at Badu's home in Dallas on 5 July with Badu's family and friends present at the birth, it was reported.

Badu, who already has a son Seven, 6, with Outkast's Andre 3000, declined to name Puma's father.


French performer Reggiani dies at 82

French singer and actor Serge Reggiani has died at the age of 82.

Reggiani was born in Italy in 1922 but moved to France when he was eight. He grew up to become one of the country's best known actors.

His film career spanned some 80 films and spawned a second successful career as a singer in 1965.

President Jacques Chirac led the tributes, saying Reggiani "sang and embodied every emotion, every melancholy, every nostalgia".


Singing von Trapps back on stage

The singing von Trapp family, which inspired the hit musical The Sound of Music, are returning to the stage for the first time in nearly 50 years.

The Austrian brothers and sisters toured the world after facing off the Nazi regime in the 1930s and 40s.

The quartet retired in the 1950s but their story was immortalised by the 1965 film starring Julie Andrews.

Now four of their grandchildren, aged nine to 15, are to tour the world as the "von Trapp Children".






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