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Entertainment: News In Brief

Tuesday, November 16, 1999 Published at 13:26 GMT

Kidman's broken rib halts Moulin

Filming of Baz Luhrmann's latest movie has been put on hold for two weeks to allow its star, Nicole Kidman, to get over her fractured rib.

Kidman broke her rib a month ago at the Sydney studio during a dance routine for Moulin Rouge.

Producer Martin Brown said he wanted to make sure that when she returned to work she was "100 per cent fit".

Kidman plays a turn-of-the-century French nightclub star who has a passionate affair with a young poet, played by McGregor in the film.

Luhrmann, who also directed William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, has called Moulin Rouge a "groundbreaking re-invention" of the musical.

Lee Evans signs '£1m deal' with BBC

Madcap comedian Lee Evans has signed a deal thought to be worth around £1m to appear in a new BBC One sitcom, it has been announced.

The star - likened to Norman Wisdom because of his lively performances - is working on a new series Lee Evans: So What Now?, his first for the channel.

Evans, who had his own series on Channel 4 before finding Hollywood success, said: "I've grown up with the BBC and its great track record of comedy series and I just feel at home there."

'Person of the year' award for Keating

Boyzone lead singer Ronan Keating has been named one of the Irish Republic's People of the Year.

The 22-year-old, who also manages Irish boyband Westlife, was one of eight winners to receive awards from Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern at a ceremony in Dublin.

Top prize went to newspaper magnate and businessman Tony O'Reilly. He was named Person of the Year for his contribution to peace and reconciliation.

Racy new film transforms Austen novel

Film-makers have defended a new movie adaptation of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park which includes raunchy scenes not featured in the original novel.

A spokesman for the film said: "The sex scenes are not fabricated. That is what the book implied... It is not just another fluffy costume drama."

A co-production by the BBC, HAL and Miramax, with Trainspotting star Jonny Lee Miller and Australian Frances O'Connor, it is due out next March.

Shirley Bassey honoured with wax model

Welsh singer Shirley Bassey is the latest celebrity to be honoured with a wax model at London's Madame Tussaud's.

The 62-year-old star whose 40-year career includes Number One hits such as Goldfinger and Reach For The Stars will unveil her wax double at the famous museum next month.

Next up for the wax treatment are actress Jane Horrocks and Hollywood star Nicolas Cage, who will have their models unveiled early next year.

Immaculately conceived role for August

Star Wars actress Pernilla August is to star in a film as a mother who conceives without a human father - her second such part in a year.

The Swedish actress, who played Anakin Skywalker's mother in The Phantom Menace, will appear in the title role in Mary, Mother of Jesus.

"It's important that we believe Mary is a normal human being, so I put in my own experience of life" said the 41-year-old mother-of-three.

De Niro drops out of new Scorsese movie

Hollywood star Robert De Niro has dropped out of Martin Scorsese's next film Gangs of New York because of personal reasons, a report says.

The Hollywood Reporter says according to "sources close to the actor", De Niro did not want to leave the US.

The film is due to start production in Rome next April and stars Leonardo DiCaprio.

Instead, De Niro, 56, is finalising a $15m (£9.4m) deal to star in The Score, about an ageing thief who gets roped into one last crime by a younger thief.

Top songwriters drop copyright claim

The former members of 1980s hit-makers Stock, Aitken & Waterman have settled a legal row between them over copyright in the musical successes of stars.

Five days into the hearing, Michael Stock and Matthew Aitken dropped their claim for hundreds of thousands of pounds against Peter Waterman.

The men, responsible for a string of hits including Kylie Minogue's number one I Should Be So Lucky, went their separate ways in the early 1990s.

ITV new audience figures have 'halved'

Audience figures for the replacement for News At Ten have halved since ITV's flagship news programme was axed, a newspaper has claimed.

The Express says that the 11pm ITV Nightly News attracts three million viewers, compared with the six million who tuned in to News At Ten before it was replaced last March.

The paper also says viewing figures for BBC One's Nine O'Clock News have remained constant, even though ITV has scheduled a raft of expensive, high-profile programmes against it.

Actress Watson finds comic diversion

British actress Emily Watson has opted for a bit of light relief in her next film role, after a spate of emotionally-draining dramas.

The 32-year-old will play a would-be Chicago private detective in Trixie, a comedy which also stars Nick Nolte.

Watson, who came to prominence in the bleak drama Breaking The Waves, has just finished working on the gruelling Angela's Ashes. "To do comedy is a relief," she told the New York Times.

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