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Wednesday, 19 April, 2000, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Lumley joins animal protest

Absolutely Fabulous actress Joanna Lumley has joined a campaign calling on the government to ban live animal exports.

She is among a group who will meet MPs to argue that animal transport laws do not protect the welfare of UK livestock sent to continental slaughterhouses.

Pressure group Compassion In World Farming claims that many animals are sent on 40 to 50-hour journeys and slaughtered using cruel methods.


Del Boy tops popularity poll

Only Fools and Horses' Del Boy Trotter is the most popular British television character of all time, according to a survey released this week.

The wheeler-dealer, played by David Jason, took in more than a third of votes in a poll by Open, a UK interactive TV service.

"I'm thrilled that Open viewers voted so strongly for Del," said Jason.

"I'm sure he would be thrilled too and, if he could, he'd probably say 'this year the world, next year the universe'," he added.


Castaways to receive your messages

The Castaway 2000 website, due to go live on Easter Sunday, will give viewers the chance to send email to the islanders marooned on Taransay.

BBC Online director Nigel Chapman says that the site will have "an exclusive insight into life on the island, bringing them closer to our volunteers.

"I'm sure that Daniel Defoe and Robert Louis Stevenson, if they were alive today, would have done the same."


Sporty Spice speaks of film ambitions

Spice Girl Mel C says she hopes to leap onto the big screen soon - as a female version of action hero Sylvester Stallone.

The singer told Hello! magazine she had caught the acting bug whilst making the Spice Girls film, Spice World, in 1997.

"I'd like to be a female Sly... or Bruce Willis's sidekick in a film where I get to save the world," she revealed.

The 25-year-old's bandmates, Victoria Beckham and Mel B, have both been linked with film projects.


Oasis single 'to fall short of Fragma'

Early sales figures suggest Oasis' new single could fall short of hitting the number one spot this weekend.

Who Feels Love? the second single from the band's third album, is trailing Fragma Vs Coco by 4,000 copies.

Chart expert Gennaro Castaldo said: "Sales for Fragma were phenomenal and the momentum seems to be continuing.

"It looks like it could be enough to prevent Oasis from getting the number one."


Elton's photos to go on display in US

Sir Elton John's photograph collection is to go on show to the public for the first time, at a museum in the US.

The collection will be displayed in Atlanta, where the singer has a home. The 2,500 pictures, none of which were taken by the star, include vintage 20th century black and white photos, as well as fashion and celebrity shots.

"I've never been so excited by a visual art form," Elton said at a press conference to introduce the collection.


Zoo chiefs defend Beckham treatment

A decision to leave paying customers in the rain while David and Victoria Beckham got a private view has been defended by Chester Zoo chiefs.

"The Beckhams were our special guests and we wanted to give them privacy," said a spokesman, adding that animal houses were only shut for minutes.

Bob Clough-Parker, secretary of the Chester Chamber of Trade said: "I think it is a bit rich that entry-paying visitors should be treated this way."


MTV bans American Beauty kiss

The studio behind Oscar-winning film American Beauty has banned television station MTV from using a clip in its ninth annual Movie Awards in the US.

A kiss between middle-aged star Kevin Spacey and teenage character Mena Suvari had been named among nominees for best on-screen kiss of the year.

But the DreamWorks studio did not want the kiss to appear in the light-hearted category, since in the context of the film it was seen to be "inappropriate".


Chris Tarrant hands over 1m to charity

Quiz show host Chris Tarrant has handed over 1m of fundraising proceeds to the Children of Leukaemia Charity.

Tarrant fronted a Millennium drive to help the charity which raises funds for leukaemia research and help centres.

He said that the 1m "was raised in just over three months, which is a terrific achievement."

The charity's Hugo Amaya-Torres called Chris "very charismatic" and said it was thanks to him the money was raised.


Tragic Beatles art collection on display

Letters and artwork by Stuart Sutcliffe - the original Beatles bass player - go on show from 19 April at the Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool.

Sutcliffe quit the band in 1961 and died from a brain haemorrhage just six months before the group hit the charts.

"We feel very priviliged to have the collection for a year," said Shelagh Johnson, museum curator.

"It will give a wonderful opportunity to see what made the Beatles special."


Iman pregnancy 'due to African custom'

Supermodel Iman says that an African fertility custom helped her conceive with rock star husband David Bowie after months of trying.

The model borrowed fellow model Christie Brinkley's young child for a day and says that this is what worked for her.

"In Africa, there's a tradition that when a woman wants to conceive and is having a hard time, she should hold another woman's baby."

Iman, 44, is five months pregnant.

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See also:

10 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Spices dominate rich list
02 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Posh and Elton's Barbie party
10 Nov 99 | Entertainment
Jason's heroic endeavour
17 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
Beauty leads Oscars field
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