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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 July 2006, 08:25 GMT 09:25 UK
Sutherland set for The Simpsons
Kiefer Sutherland
Sutherland will play an army colonel in the animated series
Kiefer Sutherland and The White Stripes are to make guest appearances in the next series of The Simpsons.

Sutherland plays a hard-nosed colonel in an episode that sees Homer Simpson accidentally joining the US army.

Rock group The White Stripes voice themselves when Bart Simpson organises a benefit concert in Springfield.

Other guests confirmed for the 18th series of the animated comedy include Natalie Portman, Eric Idle and talk show psychologist Dr Phil McGraw.

The new series begins in the US on 18 September, and incorporates the show's 400th episode - to be shown in May.

Star guests

The Emmy-winning series has a long history of guest stars, with such luminaries as Sir Paul McCartney, Dustin Hoffman and Tony Blair all making appearances.

Frasier star Kelsey Grammer will receive an Emmy later this year for his recurring role as Bart Simpson's arch-nemesis, Sideshow Bob.

The show started life as a series of short, crudely-drawn, animations on the Tracey Ullmann Show in 1987.

Created by artist Matt Groening, the yellow-coloured nuclear family proved a hit with viewers, and a full-length series began in 1989.

It is now the longest-running prime-time entertainment series on television in the US and has collected eight Emmy awards for outstanding animated programme.

A Simpsons film is currently in production, and will be released for the characters' 20th anniversary in 2007.

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