Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Minogue beats Madonna

London -- Kylie Minogue dethroned Madonna as Britain's longest-reigning pop princess Monday, as measured by the time between first and last chart-toppers, after the Australian singer's latest single went straight to No. 1 in the music charts.

The song "Slow" gave Minogue her seventh No. 1 in Britain -- 15 years and nine months after she first hit the top of the charts with "I Should Be So Lucky" in 1988.

Madonna went 15 years and one month between her first British No. 1, 1985's "Into the Groove," and her last, "Music," in 2000, according to officials at British Hit Singles.

A private affair

New York -- After more than a decade in the public eye with ex-husband Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman says she's keeping her new relationship with Lenny Kravitz private.

"I don't think I will ever put myself up for scrutiny, in terms of a personal relationship, ever again," she tells W magazine for its December issue. "It's too delicate, too ephemeral, too painful when it fails. So to have it on display terrifies me."

Kidman says she was depressed after her divorce from Cruise in August 2001, but now the 36-year-old star of "The Human Stain" and the upcoming "Cold Mountain" seems to have found love again.

"The idea of being able to give somebody something again, that's a nice thing," she says.

Western destination

Los Angeles -- Ron Howard's new film, "The Missing," is his first Western, but the Oscar winner has been interested in the genre for a long time.

One of Howard's early big-screen appearances was opposite John Wayne in 1976's "The Shootist."

"Every time we are about to renew our contracts, Ron brings up a Western," said Brian Grazer, Howard's longtime producing partner at Imagine Entertainment. "I always say, 'OK, OK.' But I never thought he'd actually do one."

"The Missing" stars Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blanchett in a tale of a pioneer mother who reunites with her wayward father to hunt for her abducted daughter.

Potential first ladies, apply here

Boston -- Presidents of the United States often request television time for major addresses. At last week's Democratic presidential debate, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, of Ohio, suggested a new twist on this tradition: a reality show to help him find a first lady.

"As a bachelor, I get a chance to fantasize about my first lady," he said. "Maybe Fox would like to sponsor a national contest or something. ... I would certainly want a dynamic, outspoken woman who was fearless in her desire for peace in the world, for universal single-payer health care and for a full-employment economy. If you're out there, call me!"

The Web site began a "Who wants to be a First Lady?" competition. And the first SWF has already applied: Gina Marie, 33, a brunette from New Jersey who works at a sheriff's office and promises she would provide the "partnership that our president deserves."