Stripping yarn

British character actors often don't have much more to see them through the tough times than an appearance on The Bill, so it's nice to see a member of The Full Monty cast cashing in on the film's international success. Mark Addy first popped up in a spoof of the film on ABC's The Drew Carey Show, and now Addy is set to star in his own sitcom for the same US network.

The part may call upon the sensitivity Addy showed for his Full Monty character's marital problems, but that's about as far as the similarities go. Earth Scum, which is being put together by Third Rock From The Sun producers Casey-Werner, revolves around a mixed marriage between Addy, playing an alien, and an earthling who has settled down on Addy's home planet.

Kim of the jungle

Doors are also opening for Oscar-winner Kim Basinger. Hugh Chariots of Fire Hudson is set to direct I Dream of Africa, in which the revitalised Basinger (right) will play real-life conservationist Kukie Gallmann, who upon moving to Kenya, became a leading African wildlife activist.

More interesting still, Basinger looks set to play Detective Inspector Jane Tennison in the feature adaptation of Prime Suspect. Though MGM have reckoned that Lynda La Plante's hit mini-series has been ripe for the big-screen treatment for years, the studio only now seems to think it 's got the ingredients right. Chris Menaul, the director of the first Prime Suspect series, will helm the film, and La Plante has also been drafted in too.

Stipe cast

R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe has got the celluloid bug. Stipe will co- produce Spring Forward, an odd-couple indie flick starring Ned Beatty - best remembered for his hog impression in Deliverance - and Liev Scream 2 Schreiber.

Mike Higgins