People talk 12/30/03

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Who guitarist thought of suicide after arrest

LONDON -- Rock guitarist Pete Townshend considered suicide after his arrest on suspicion of possessing child pornography, a newspaper quoted him as saying. The Who co-founder told The Observer Sunday newspaper he would have shot himself if he'd had a gun. Townshend was cleared in May of possessing pornographic images of children but still was placed on a national register of sex offenders. The 58-year-old acknowledged using a credit card to enter a Web site advertising child pornography but said he was doing research for his autobiography.

Weapons inspector Blix wins Swedish prize

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Former chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix was named the winner of the $50,000 Olof Palme Prize Monday for his work in trying to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The award is endowed by the family of the slain Swedish prime minister and the governing Social Democratic Party. A prize ceremony in the Swedish capital Jan. 30 will mark the birthday of Palme, who was shot to death Feb. 28, 1986, on a Stockholm street.

'Bachelor' couple still friends despite breakup

NEW YORK -- Even though Andrew Firestone and Jen Schefft from "The Bachelor" have called off their engagement, they can't seem to stay away from each other. The two are "very good friends," Firestone told In Touch Weekly magazine for its Dec. 29 issue. The 28-year-old heir to the Firestone tire and wine fortune and Schefft, a petite, 27-year-old blonde, announced earlier this month that they'd broken up after having found love on the ABC dating series that aired in May.

DeGeneres savoring recent successes

NEW YORK -- Ellen DeGeneres actually thought her career was over. She became a hero to gays in 1997, following a highly publicized coming-out. But she soon lost her NBC sitcom "Ellen." A second sitcom, "The Ellen Show" came and went in 2001. But since the September premiere of her syndicated talk show, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," the 45-year-old has become a hot commodity and the show's ratings continue to climb. DeGeneres also provided the voice for the chatty fish Dory in the animated "Finding Nemo," the highest-grossing film of the year. DeGeneres said she was savoring her success.

-- From wire reports

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