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This definition of anti-Semitism has been too stretched for too long

Backing UK movies offers investment action

Matrix Securities put up the money for Mike Leigh's latest film, `Career Girls', and a new version of `The Professionals'. Cathy Newman reports on tax-efficient investments in television and films. A year ago Rupert Lywood, a former chartered accountant, and David Royds, a former stockbroker, came up with the idea of providing investors with a tax-efficient way to invest in British films. Three anonymous individuals contributed pounds 1.3m between them to get Mike Leigh's current film, Career Girls, off the ground; and 28 investors have come up with the majority of the pounds 11m budget needed for a follow-up to the Seventies TV series, The Professionals, which will star Kal Weber, Colin Wells, Lexa Doig and Edward Woodward.

Comment: overheard

It's quite good now. She looks like she's been punched and has a bloody nose.

The Big Picture: Nostalgia merely obscures the truth that life is not so sweet

Mike Leigh's flawed but witty Career Girls follows a reunion between old pals Hannah and Annie, whose wistful recollections of their early friendship seem incongruous until the root of their emotional bond is revealed

You may have met these two somewhere before

Mike Leigh's trick is to turn his characters into real people. He's done it again with his new movie. Suzi Feay meets the actresses who play the `Career Girls', while, overleaf, we revisit the infamous Beverly, 20 years after `Abigail's Party'

Like totally spontaneous

Every time you think you've got him taped, Mike Leigh delivers another surprise. His latest film, `Career Girls', is no exception. And, as the director tells Ryan Gilbey, he himself can be as surprised as anyone by the way things turn out

The trick is to survive

Fame first knocked on Bernard Kops's door 40 years ago but she's been been a long time coming back. Now, with a new play in London and a Hollywood script under way, it seems that at 70 he has survival down to a fine art.

Thugs fuel boom in baseball bat sales

Sales of baseball bats are booming in Britain - not because of any enthusiasm for the all-American ball game, but because they are the ideal weapon for thugs who want to hand out a beating.

HOW WE MET; ALISON STEADMAN AND JANINE DUVITSKI

Alison Steadman, 50, was born in Liverpool. She separated from her husband of 23 years, the director Mike Leigh, last year; they have two sons. She lives in London. Janine Duvitski, 44, was born in Morecambe. Her partner is the actor Paul Bentall; they have four children and live in Richmond, Surrey. Both actresses have made numerous cinema, theatre and television appearances, and are particularly well-known for creating the roles of Beverly and Ange in Mike Leigh's classic comedy `Abigail's Party', first televised in 1977. Alison and Janine are currently working together on a production of Sir John Vanbrugh's Restoration comedy, `The Provok'd Wife', at London's Old Vic theatre

DEFINITIVE VIEWING: TV EYE: A MAN OF MANY PARTS

Warren Clarke has got one of those "it's on the tip of my tongue" faces. You've seen him in hundreds of things before, but you can't quite put a name to him. He's solid rather than starry - and admits as much. "Thank God, most of the time I'm unrecognisable," he laughs. "I've even been accused of not being Warren Clarke. Somebody once came up to me for an autograph and said, `I love all your work, Mr Elphick'. I could have said, `I'm not Michael Elphick, I'm Warren Clarke', but it wouldn't have been worth it. They'd just have said, `Warren Who?'"

Pauline Calf: a psychopath who loves a nibble

PETER YORK ON ADS: No 178: McVITIE'S RIVA

Festival salutes 'shy' Bergman

Ingmar Bergman lived up to his reclusive image when he failed to appear to receive his prestigious "Palm of Palms" award at the 50th Cannes Film Festival.

The cup result that made Des sick as a Pavarotti

Arts notebook

Mike Leigh's secret is revealed

This is the first time that anyone has had a Bafta award for anything of mine. I've only had two nominations before ... for that reason I've let my membership lapse

Triple triumph for Mike Leigh comedy

Mike Leigh's comedy Secrets and Lies made up for its failure in the Oscars by scooping three Bafta awards last night, including best actress for Brenda Blethyn. The English Patient also won three awards, though it had been nominated for 13.

TO HAVE ... AND HAVE NOT

Films made outside Hollywood litter the nominations for the 1997 Oscars, to be awarded in Los Angeles tomorrow night. But will a historic bias towards local product hold sway? ill a historic bias towards local product hold sway? ? Four of the nominees for Best Picture Oscars are either foreign or 'independent' - which means far more economical, less beholden to big money, and closer to being the work of uncompromised individuals
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