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Jewish Showbiz News

Last updated: 2003-10-27

Rachel Stevens wins music award

Rachel Stevens

Veteran actor Ron Moody, best known for playing Fagin in the 1968 film version of Oliver!, is to join the cast of EastEnders in December.


The 79-year-old will make a series of guest appearances as Edwin Caldicott, an old adversary of Jim Branning, played by actor John Bardon. Moody said that joining the soap was "like getting on the QE2, the most successful ship on television - and I enjoyed a nice cruise! My kids are very excited that I'm going to be in Albert Square as they watch it religiously." He added that the highlight of his sojourn in the Square was working with June Brown, who plays Dot Cotton. "She's a national treasure," Moody said of his new co-star. The actor, who won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Fagin, made his film debut in 1937's Every Day's A Holiday, and has continued to work steadily, most recently starring in the British films Revelation and Paradise Grove, a dark comedy set in a Jewish old-age home, that has yet to be released.


David Blaine is reported to be making a satisfactory recovery from his London stunt, which saw him spending 44 days in a perspex box suspended from Tower Bridge, surviving only on water. The illusionist reportedly broke his fast with a handful of crisps four days after emerging from the box on 19 October, and is now on a diet of bagels, cheese and fruit salad. He was unable to eat solid food for a few days after the stunt amid fears that he would suffer a heart attack or stomach damage if he began eating again too soon, and was instead fed a special drink full of nutrients and vitamins. "I have enjoyed this quiet time to reflect upon my experience during my recovery," Blaine said in a statement.


Former S Club star Rachel Stevens was a winner at the National Music Awards in London this weekend. Stevens picked up the prize for Best UK Female singer at the ceremony, which also saw wins for Gareth Gates, Will Young and Coldplay. Stevens recently reached number two in the charts with Sweet Dreams My LA Ex, her first solo single since S Club split earlier this year.


In brief:

Veteran star Lily Tomlin has been awarded a lifetime achievement award for her career in comedy. The actress, who first found fame in the 60s in the show Rowan And Martin's Laugh-In, was presented with the Mark Twain Prize for Comedy at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC.


Happy Birthday this week to: Actress Winona Ryder (32 on October 29), Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss (56 on October 29), actor Henry Winkler, aka The Fonz (58 on October 30), comedian Rob Schneider, star of Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo and The Animal (40 on October 31), Beastie Boy Adam (Ad-Rock) Horowitz (37 on October 31), songwriter Jim Steinman, who wrote Bonnie Tyler chart-topper Total Eclipse of The Heart as well as many songs for Meat Loaf (56 on November 1)…