- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Reg strikes early

Elton John and Canadian filmmaker David Furnish exchanged vows and diamond wedding bands yesterday during a ceremony that capped the first week of legalized civil unions in the United Kingdom, Associated Press reports.

Opting to use the 17th-century town hall where Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles wed in April, Mr. John and Mr. Furnish kissed in front of hundreds of photographers and fans packed together on the cobbled streets around Windsor’s town hall.

Mr. John, 58, in a white tie and violet-tinted glasses, and Mr. Furnish, 43, were among hundreds of same-sex couples tying the knot in England and Wales yesterday, the first day that such ceremonies were legally recognized.

Planting good will

Robert Plant has secured a $60,000 donation for TurtleWill, a Carefree, Ariz.-based charitable organization that aids nomadic people in drought-stricken West Africa.

The ex-Led Zeppelin singer had committed proceeds from an EP recorded with his band, the Strange Sensation, but it failed to generate the royalties he had expected.

The 57-year-old rocker made an appeal to PAR Charitable Trust, which agreed to make up the financial gap needed to build and operate school dorms for 200 children in Mali for three years, TurtleWill founder Irma Turtle told AP.

TurtleWill offers medical treatment, school funding and employment training for tribal people in remote regions of Ethiopia, Mali and Niger.

Good news, McFly

Michael J. Fox is heading “Back to the Future” for the fourth time.

The actor told Moviehole.net that he’s in negotiations for a final film in the series, on the condition that he take over Christopher Lloyd’s madcap scientist character, Doc.

Says Mr. Fox: “The only way it would work would be if I played Doc. I’m 44-years-old now and I’m not interested in running around on skateboards.”

Best-laid ‘Plans’

Indie band Death Cab for Cutie has big plans for “Plans.” Each song from the band’s Grammy-nominated album, “Plans,” has been made into a music video, adding up to an anthology of 12 short films titled, “Directions.”

The videos, the work of 12 different directors, will be unveiled one at a time on Death Cab for Cutie’s Web site early next month, AP reports.

The band won’t appear in any of the videos.

“It’s our hope that this project serves as a model to both labels and bands as a way to grant the directors the type and amount of freedom we’ve enjoyed in the creation of the music itself,” frontman Ben Gibbard said.

British pride

English movie critics went native as the British production “The Constant Gardener” led the field for the 26th London Film Critics’ Circle awards, garnering seven nominations, organizers said yesterday, according to Reuters news agency.

Nominations for the movie adaptation of John le Carre’s novel of the same name include one for Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles, producer for Simon Channing Williams and film of the year.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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