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Monday, 3 January, 2000, 13:12 GMT
Charlotte's wealth of talent

Welsh singing sensation Charlotte Church looks set to break a new record as one of the UK's highest pop earners.

The 13-year-old, who is estimated to have earned £7m last year, will become the youngest musician to enter the Top 30 of the yearly pop rich list, published by Rock Accounts.

Although almost all her earnings are held in trust, her album sales make her one of the richest stars on paper.

Robbie Williams, Fatboy Slim, Texas and Jamiroquai are among the other big successes of 1999.




Pop star Ronan's helping hand

Boyzone star Ronan Keating has helped hand out IR£2 million to the Irish Republic's biggest-ever fund-raising project.

The heart-throb joined in a Dublin cheque presentation ceremony on behalf of Ireland's National Millennium Committee.

The money went to the Children's Hour organisation, established by the Millennium Committee to aid 100 separate groups

As part of their overall fund-raising programme, Children's Hour asked all of Ireland's 1.4 million workers to donate their final hour's earnings of the old millennium.

Keating is a member of the National Millennium Committee.




Grant gets arty in next film

Hugh Grant will be spending much of his next film in Sotheby's in New York and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Grant stars with Tracey Ullman and Jon Lovitz in the movie, which, as usual with Woody Allen films, has no title and is shrouded in mystery, reports the New York Post.

But the newspaper has discovered that Allen has been lent a pair of silver George IV wine coolers by a private collector, which feature prominently in the story, set in New York's art world.




McCourt 'bowled over' by Ashes movie

Frank McCourt's first words after seeing the film version of his book Angela's Ashes were: "I need a drink," according to producer David Brown.

"He was bowled over," said Brown, who says that - along with his co-producer Scott Rudin - he had to 'audition' for McCourt before the Irishman agreed to sell them the film rights.

"Scott and I both had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the book. We read it in detail, which is unusual in Hollywood," says Brown.

The film, which recounts the impoverished childhoods of a brood of Irish boys, stars Emily Watson and Robert Carlyle.




Blair Witch house 'saved'

The 200-year-old house made famous last year in the horror film The Blair Witch Project is not going to be demolished.

Maryland's Department of Natural Resources has decided that the historic Griggs House - located in Patapsco State Park in western Baltimore County - can stay, according to the Baltimore Sun newspaper.

The film's characters were killed in the house at the conclusion of the hit chiller.




Arrest in Diaz airport case

An airport worker in Los Angeles has been arrested for allegedly stealing $7,000 (£4,300) and a passport from the Hollywood star Cameron Diaz.

The actress noticed her purse was missing after her belongings had passed through a security scanner, as she prepared to board a flight last Thursday.

An airport surveillance videotape allegedly showed the guard taking the items from the purse of the star of There's Something About Mary, airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles revealed.




Vienna honours news legend Cronkite

Veteran US television anchorman Walter Cronkite has been awarded a top Austrian honour.

The 83-year-old was given Vienna's Golden Medal at the City Hall in recognition of his work in presenting the Austrian capital's famous New Year's concert to US TV viewers since 1983.

"We are honouring a man of principles," said Peter Marboe, head of Vienna City Hall's culture deparment, adding, in English: "We love you and that's simply the way it is," referring to Cronkite's famous sign-off line.

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See also:
12 Dec 99 |  Wales
Charlotte chosen to sing at Dome
20 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Beauty's Golden Globe rush
19 Dec 99 |  Tom Brook
Year of living digitally

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