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Wednesday, 9 February, 2000, 13:29 GMT
Connery rocks Geri show
Geri Halliwell on her BBC walkabout
Veteran action star Sean Connery helped Channel 5 to one of its biggest-ever audiences on Tuesday - when his film The Rock beat a BBC documentary on Geri Halliwell.

Overnight figures show the terrestrial premiere of the James Bond actor's 1996 thriller The Rock picked up an average of 4.6 million viewers.

Meanwhile Geri's World Walkabout on BBC One - which showed the former Spice Girls singer talking to young people around the planet about their lives and beliefs - could only muster an average of 3.6 million viewers.

The Rock - which sees Connery play an Alcatraz escapee trying to thwart a terrorist attack on San Francisco - had Channel 5's third highest-ever audience.

In September 1999 the England-Poland Euro 2000 football qualifier attracted 5.6 million people, while 5.4 million saw the blockbuster Independence Day in the same month.

A delighted Channel 5 spokesman said: "It's beaten all our expectations. As other great film deals come through there will be more of these excellent figures to come."

Clooney crowned movie king

American actor George Clooney and French star Sophie Marceau have been honoured as best international movie stars by the German magazine Hoer zu.

The star of the new Gulf War movie, Three Kings, joined Bond actress Marceau, to collect his Golden Camera award at a ceremony in Berlin on Tuesday night.

German director Wim Wenders was among the other winners. He was presented with his prize by Joan of Arc actress Milla Jovovich.

Iceland 'gives' Bjork her own island

The Prime Minister of Iceland is considering giving singer Bjork exclusive use of an island in recognition of the popularity she has brought the country.

Prime Minister David Oddsson says the singer should have the uninhabited island of Ellidaey in Iceland's Breidafjoerdur Bay as "recognition from the state".

"Bjork has done more for the popularity of Iceland than most other Icelanders," he said. There had been reports that Bjork had planned to buy the island.

Oasis single outselling all competition

Rock band Oasis outsold their nearest chart rivals by four to one on their single's first day of release, according to early industry figures.

The track, Go Let It Out, is Oasis's first new release in two years and has sold 66,607 copies - way ahead of the current No 1's 16,000 for the day.

This figure is below that of Oasis's D'You Know What I Mean? which sold 160,000 copies in a day in 1997, but bodes well for the forthcoming album.

Meanwhile, Travis will be supporting the band on their tour of the US in April and May. The Edinburgh band are old hands at sharing a bill with the Gallagher brothers - they supported them on UK dates in 1997.

French to honour veteran Ravi

Legendary Indian musician Ravi Shankar is to receive a major award in France.

The 79-year-old sitar player will be made a Commander of the Legion of Honour - France's top civilian award - for his contribution to music.

Shankar, who was hugely influential in introducing the world to Indian classical music, played his first concert in France at the age of 11.

He lived in the country for several years during the 1930s.

Standing ovation for Fosse

Celebrities were out in force for the opening night of Fosse - the first major new musical in London's West End this year.

Dame Judi Dench, Ulrika Jonsson and Chris Tarrant were among the audience at the show - a tribute to late film and theatre choreographer Bob Fosse.

The Broadway hit, featuring routines from the likes of Cabaret and Kiss Me Kate, was given a standing ovation.

Geldof's new mobile venture

Bob Geldof has launched a business initiative aimed at providing news and weather to users of new-style WAP mobile phones.

Together with ex-England rugby star Brian Moore and partner companies, WapWorld intends to sell software to be included on these phones

WAP stands for Wireless Application Protocol and is a system that lets mobile phone users connect to the internet and download information.

C4 wins rights to film Beckett plays

All 19 of Samuel Beckett's dramatic works are to be filmed for television in a collaboration between Film Four and the Irish broadcaster, RTE.

The project is reported to include directors Neil Jordan, Tom Stoppard and Richard Eyre alongside actors like John Hurt, Judi Dench and Julianne Moore.

The conceptual artist Damien Hirst will direct the 45 second-long Breath.

Filming will take place over the summer and the project will be broadcast on British and Irish TV in the autumn.

BBC pioneer Robin Scott dies

Robin Scott CBE, who launched Radios 1 and 2 during a BBC career that spanned the 1960s and 70s, has died aged 79.

"We are really very sad to hear of Robin's death," said BBC Director of Television Alan Yentob. "He will be remembered as a pioneer at the BBC.

"He was a great advocate of quality programme-making and encouraged many talents inside the BBC. His passion for the arts was infectious," he added.

Scott also wrote Softly, Softly, a hit song for Ruby Murray in the 1950s.

See also:

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