It's Dollywood as Tinseltown sees double

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Dolly the Sheep may already be a double - but can she act the part? The world's first cloned sheep is being courted by television and film companies anxious to sign up the woolly star.

Staff at the Roslin Institute, in Midlothian, acting as Dolly's agent, have been inundated with requests from all over the world for the seven- month-old clone to do everything from appear on magazine-style chat shows to starring in documentaries. Even Hollywood has expressed an interest.

"We knew there would be a lot of interest in Dolly from the scientific world, and we expected some from the popular press, but the response we got was overwhelming," said Dr Harry Griffin, assistant director at the institute.

"We have had a wide range of inquiries from people looking to sign Dolly up, either to get her on their television show or do features on her," continued Dr Griffin. "Some of the requests have been rather bizarre, but I don't want to offend anyone by going into great detail. All I am saying is that I don't think the world is quite ready for Dolly key-rings yet."

Whilst the scientists are still reeling from the intensity of interest, Dolly is taking the stardom in her stride. "She seems a very happy, fairly tame sheep and she is getting very used to the sight of photographers," added Dr Griffin.

20th Century Fox has contacted the institute to ask the scientists who bred the famous ewe from a single cell if they would consider being technical advisers on a film they have in the pipeline, in which cloning will play an important part in the plot. Dr Griffin said he was keeping details of any offers firmly under wraps.