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Monday, 6 December, 1999, 13:56 GMT
Veteran Douglas is still a knockout
Kirk Douglas puts up a fight at the premiere of Diamonds

Hollywood superstar Kirk Douglas was on fighting form at the Los Angeles premiere of his latest film, Diamonds.

Douglas, who celebrates his 83rd birthday on Thursday, plays a former boxer in the mystery thriller.

He stars alongside Lauren Bacall and Dan Aykroyd in the film, which sees him on a mission to find 13 missing diamonds.

Douglas will be honoured on 12 December at the Hollywood Women's Press Club when he will be presented with the Louella Parsons Award.

Madonna serves a slice of American Pie

A scene in Madonna's new film The Next Best Thing has inspired her to record a new version of the Don McLean classic song American Pie.

In the film, she and Rupert Everett play best friends who decide to raise a baby and are seen singing a portion of the famous track.

According to US reports, Madonna contacted British record producer William Orbit and they recorded a new version to be released early next year.

'Euro Oscar' for Ralph Fiennes

British star Ralph Fiennes has won the best actor prize at the European Film Awards in Berlin.

The 36 year-old British star won the honour for his part in The Taste of Sunshine.

Other winners at the event included Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar who picked up top directing honours and the European Film Prize for All About My Mother.

Controversial director Roman Polanski scooped a European achievement award, as did Spanish heart-throb Antonio Banderas.

Big Ben set for millennium camera

ITN has won permission to place a live camera in Big Ben on millennium eve, so that television viewers will be able to see as well as hear the clock chime in the New Year.

It is the first time the Palace of Westminster authorities have allowed the clock's 140-year-old mechanism to be seen live on television.

A remote control camera will be used to show the quarter bells and Big Ben itself - the massive bell which chimes on the hour.

Simon Bucks, editor of ITV's Millennium programme Countdown 2000, said: "It's the most famous timepiece in the world.

"The new millennium does not start until midnight GMT on 31 December and when Big Ben chimes the world will be watching."

French film picks up Cairo honour

A film by French director Bernard Stora has won the Golden Pyramid for best film at the Cairo International Film Festival.

Un Derangement Considerable (A Considerable Disturbance), which follows the downfall of a top football star, was chosen by the 10-member jury headed by director Yves Boisset.

The Silver Pyramid went to Egyptian film Ard al-Khawf (Land of Fear), directed by Daud Abdel Sayed, which was also judged best Arabic film.

The best director award went to Czech Martin Sulit for Pictures from the Visit.

New record set by Delia Smith

TV cook Delia Smith is breaking records with her latest publishing venture, Delia's How to Cook: Book Two.

The book has advance orders for 850,000 copies, believed to be the highest print order for a non-fiction title, according to publisher BBC Worldwide UK

Book One was published in October 1998 and has sold more 1m copies.

Book Two goes on sale officially on Thursday, to accompany a 10-part series to be screened on BBC Two in January.
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See also:
06 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Picture Gallery: VH-1 Vogue fashion awards
19 Nov 99 |  Entertainment
A Fiennes family affair
02 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
BBC's all-star millennium bash
25 Nov 99 |  Entertainment
Sharif's festival honour

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