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Thursday, 25 November, 1999, 14:44 GMT
Dangerfield axed as Havers quits

Top BBC One drama series Dangerfield has been dropped because its star, Nigel Havers, has decided to leave.

A spokeswoman said the 50-year-old actor had tired of playing smooth police surgeon Dr Jonathan Paige and wants a change.

Havers joined the drama in 1997 after the departure of the original police doctor Paul Dangerfield, played by Nigel Le Valliant.

The BBC felt viewers would not find the series credible if the main character was changed for a second time.




Millennium Dome could become theme park

The Disney corporation has submitted a proposal to lease the Millennium Dome in London for use as a movie studio and "media-related" theme park, it has emerged.

Trade newspaper Hollywood Reporter says the plan was disclosed to a financial wire service by a "market source".

The proposal entails an affiliate of Disney leasing the Dome from the government for an undisclosed sum.

Disney already runs a similar park near its Disney World resort in Florida.




Brother scatters Hutchence's ashes

The last remains of Michael Hutchence have been scattered over the Tibetan Himalayas by his brother.

Rhett Hutchence said that the family were respecting his late brother's request to have his ashes scattered on the second anniversary of his death.

The ashes of the INXS lead singer were divided five ways after his death. Some were sprinkled in Sydney Harbour while girlfriend Paula Yates and family members were also given some.




Julie Andrews finds new career in books

British actress Julie Andrews, who may not sing again because of an operation on her vocal chords, is carving out a new career as a children's author.

Following the success of Little Bo, her first children's book, she and her daughter Emma Hamilton are creating a series, to be designed by her ex-husband and Emma's father, Tony Walton.

"It's a totally family project," said Julie. "I'm so thrilled to be working with Emma and even more thrilled that her father is involved."




Fantasy Island creator dies aged 79

Gene Levitt, writer, director and producer who created 1970s hit Fantasy Island, has died at his home in Los Angeles, it has been announced.

His wife, Diana, said that he died on 15 November, aged 79, and that the cause was prostrate cancer.

His phrase 'Da plane! Da plane!' with which star Ricardo Montalban's aide greeted the arrival of guests became part of American culture.




Wiz actress Mabel King dies aged 66

Mabel King, the actress who played the Wicked Witch of the West in the 1978 musical, The Wiz, has died aged 66.

King, who had been plagued for years by poor health, died of complications from diabetes on 9 November in California, the Hollywood Reporter said.

Movie fans will remember King for her turn as Steve Martin's mother in 1979's The Jerk.

But she was best known in the US as Mama the oversized matriarch of the 1970s sitcom What's Happening!!




Mum fails to sell Drew's keepsakes

A 10-day online auction of Drew Barrymore's childhood keepsakes by her mother has failed to draw even the minimum bids as it draws to a close.

None of the Barrymore items listed on the San Francisco-based website have received bids matching the minimum asking price, not even the red cowboy hat worn in the movie, ET.

Drew's mother, Jaid Barrymore, put the items up for auction saying she wanted to "share some magic" with Drew's fans. The actress has declined to comment.




Blondie sue former record label

Pop group Blondie are suing their former record label for breach of contract in the US courts.

In a suit filed in New York, the group allege EMI refused to honour its royalty obligations under a 1996 recording agreement.

No amount is specified in the suit but Blondie's EMI album sales add up to over 25 million, which could suggest huge damages were the action successful.

Blondie now record with Beyond Records in the US, and have just released their first live album.




Brookside criticised over sex scenes

Channel 4 soap Brookside has been criticised by a TV watchdog after sex scenes and bad language upset viewers.

The Broadcasting Standards Commission upheld complaints over a raunchy shower scene and use of the word "shag" in scenes shown pre-watershed last August.

Channel 4 argued that it was essential to the plot to show the strength of the couple's passion.

The shower incident had avoided explicit detail while the language was commonly used by young people, it said.

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See also:
21 Nov 99 |  UK
Dome 'will be on schedule'
18 Jun 99 |  Entertainment
Woody and Buzz are back
12 Oct 99 |  Entertainment
Hutchence online memorial opens
31 Aug 99 |  Entertainment
Andrews voices singing hopes
17 Nov 99 |  Entertainment
Drew's baby gear for sale

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