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Dame Helen Mirren

Dame Helen Mirren has stepped in to the breach to replace Bette Midler in a new HBO film about the trial of the notorious ’60s record producer Phil Spector. The film stars Al Pacino, and depicts Spector’s recent trial for the murder of Lana Clarkson. Bette had been set to play Spector’s lawyer Linda Kenny Braden, but had to pull out when she was diagnosed with a herniated disc. (via Yahoo! UK)

• There’s an interesting rumor doing the rounds, which may amount to nothing, but still: could Emma Watson be considering signing up to play Belle in a Guillermo Del Toro adaptation of Beauty and the Beast? And if she did, wouldn’t that be rather a marvelous thing?

• Speaking of the lovely Emma, the 21-year-old actress will indeed head back to school after taking some time off. And while she does have plans to return to Brown University for her senior year, she’ll venture overseas this fall to study at Oxford.

Daniel Craig has revealed that his appearance in the forthcoming movie, Cowboys and Aliens, has fulfilled a lifelong ambition. He told Access Hollywood: “I wanted to play a cowboy for as long as I could remember, but I genuinely thought I would never get the chance.”

Justin Bieber is after a few pointers on his game, and he knows just the guy to ask. Having been approached about giving a low-key private concert at the house of Victoria and David Beckham — apparently their sons are all fans — he’s got his eye on the perfect payback. He told Closer magazine: “I’ve agreed to give the boys a private concert at their house — if David gives me some private soccer lessons!” (via Capital FM)

• In other Beckham news… it seems that sales of To Kill a Mockingbird have risen dramatically (by 123 percent, according to Amazon) in the wake of their decision to name their daughter Harper. David explained the reasons behind their choice of name in a Facebook video, saying, “Harper is an old English name which we loved and the other reason is because Victoria’s favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird and the author was Harper Lee.” (via Now)

• Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth just picked up a a CBE in June. Next up, the Freedom of the City honor.

• A steamy Torchwood sex scene involving Captain Jack Harkness and a barman has been has been axed by the BBC.

• Uh oh! Sir Paul McCartney, a victim of the News of the World hacking scandal? Poor Macca.

• More Cheryl Cole news: it seems yesterday’s revelation that her ex-husband Ashley had had an affair with an air hostess while ostensibly attempting to woo her back has put the tin lid on any further hopes of a reunion. But she does at least have something to take her mind off things – she just bought a $5 million (£3 million) house in L.A. that overlooks the Avenue of Stars. (via Entertainmentwise)

Charlotte Church wants you to know that the reason she was caught with her knickers down recently is because she had use the loo. The problem was that there wasn’t a proper bathroom around, so she did what she had to do. She and boyfriend Jonathan Powell were not knockin’ boots… get your filthy minds out of the gutter already!

Black Sabbath fans will be pleased to learn that bassist Geezer Butler is working on his memoirs, well, what he can remember of his memoirs at any rate. They should be on our bookshelves next year. (via RockAAA)

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By staff