Dire Straits singer in accident

London -- Dire Straits lead singer Mark Knopfler broke six ribs and a collar bone in a motorcycle accident and will be unable to perform at a London concert later this month, his agent said Tuesday.

Publicist Judy Shaw of Mercury Records said Knopfler was knocked from his Honda bike when it collided with a Fiat Punto in Belgravia, central London, on Monday morning.

"Unfortunately this means he will not be able to perform at the Albert Hall on the 25th of March in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust with Eric Clapton," she said. "However, the show will still be going ahead with Eric Clapton."

Fergie's father dies

Sydney, Australia -- The Duchess of York worked through Tuesday promoting Weight Watchers, despite just learning of her father's death in Britain.

Sarah Ferguson told Australian television that her father, Ronald Ferguson, who died Sunday in a British hospital at 71 after a series of heart attacks, would have wanted her to continue her work.

"My father would say, 'What are you doing? You have your obligations,"' she told Australian television's Nine Network. "He always brought me up to put on the stiff upper lip and get on with it. He used to call me a wimp if I became too emotional."

Ferguson, who was in Australia to promote the weight-loss company, said she and her Sydney-based sister, Jane Luedecke, would return to England for their father's funeral. A date has not yet been announced for the service.

Actress thinks Oscar chances dim

Mexico City -- Salma Hayek hopes she'll win the best-actress Oscar for her role as painter Frida Kahlo in "Frida," but she doesn't consider herself a favorite.

"We haven't had the promotional campaigns of other films, nor of other actresses," Hayek said Monday. "But I have a chance like all the other nominees. So if I win, it is because I really deserve it."

Also nominated for best actress are Nicole Kidman, "The Hours"; Diane Lane, "Unfaithful"; Julianne Moore, "Far From Heaven," and Renee Zellweger, "Chicago."

ABC-TV will broadcast the Oscar ceremony Sunday from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre.

Statue will honor Wolfman Jack

Del Rio, Texas -- A statue of the man who became Wolfman Jack when he was on a border radio station will be erected in his honor this Halloween in Del Rio.

A miniature replica of the statue, constructed by sculptor Michael Maiden out of wax, went on display Saturday at a daylong music festival held in honor of Wolfman Jack, whose real name was Robert Smith.

The disc jockey -- whose gravelly voice and wolf howls made him one of the nation's most recognizable personalities -- was featured in the 1973 film "American Graffiti." He died in 1995 at 57.

Wolfman Jack helped spread R&B; and rock 'n' roll tunes across the United States through high-powered radio station XERF-AM, based across the border in Mexico.


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