People talk 6/26/02

Former first couple writing memoirs

The story so far on the Clinton memoirs: Hillary is right on time. Bill is taking his time.

Both books originally were expected in 2003, but the former president apparently is in no hurry to finish, and a spokesman for his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, said 2004 is more likely.

"We had an aggressive schedule, possibly too aggressive," Knopf spokesman Paul Bogaards said Monday. Clinton, who received a reported $10-12 million from the publisher, told The New York Times that writing his book was "hard work" and that he and his wife "will not have a joint debut."

Meanwhile, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who received an $8 million advance from Simon & Schuster, is expected to meet her deadline easily and have her book out next year.

"We expect to publish her book in 2003," said Simon & Schuster spokesman Adam Rothberg.

Powell's wife working on kids' books

Alma Powell, wife of Secretary of State Colin Powell, has two children's books coming next spring. HarperCollins will publish a 32-page picture book, "America's Promise," along with a companion board book, "Pull Your Weight."

Proceeds will be donated to America's Promise, a non-profit organization Colin Powell founded in 1997, which is dedicated to strengthening the "character and competence of youth."

"Building the character of today's youth is an extremely important part of what America's Promise hopes to achieve," Alma Powell said in a statement Monday.

"And we want children to realize that people from every sector of American life are coming together to support them. Reaching children through books and literature is an invaluable way to fulfill our goals."

Another spouse in the Bush administration also has written a children's book. Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, recently published "America: A Patriotic Primer."

Singer resting after hospitalization

Bobby Brown was resting at his New Jersey home after being released from the hospital for treatment of an infection, a family spokeswoman said.

The 33-year-old singer was traveling through Virginia with his wife, Whitney Houston, in their tour bus when they stopped at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg last week, said Nancy Seltzer, a Los Angeles publicist.

At the time, Brown, formerly of the group New Edition, and Houston were returning home from Atlanta, where Houston was recording an album.

Seltzer said Monday that Brown had a fever, but she declined to specify the nature of the infection.

Brown, admitted Wednesday, was treated intravenously with an antibiotic and released Friday, Seltzer said. He continued taking oral antibiotics during his recuperation at home, she added.

Actors pay tribute to late star Milligan

Comedians and actors paid tribute to Spike Milligan by reading the "Goon Show" star's poetry and sharing anecdotes at a laughter-filled memorial service.

More than 700 people attended the ceremony Monday at St. Martin-in-the-Fields church in central London honoring Milligan, who died Feb. 27 at age 83.

His lifelong friend, Eric Sykes, set the tone when he began his tribute: "Spike and I shared an office for over 50 years. We were very close. It was a small office."

Milligan was the last of the Goons, the seminal comedy quartet he formed with Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers and Michael Bentine on May 28, 1951.

While Sellers became internationally famous, it was Milligan, with his sly, dry one-liners, who was recognized in Britain as the backbone of the show.

"He should be remembered as a genius, as a one-off, and as an extremely gentle man who was strangely wise. He was an extraordinary man," said Joanna Lumley of "Absolutely Fabulous."

University presidents switch offices for day

An Aggie in the University of Texas president's office? A Longhorn leading Texas A&M?

It may sound like a cruel joke on the rival universities' loyal fans, but it's really going to happen: Larry Faulkner, UT's leader, and Ray Bowen, president of A&M, will swap jobs on Friday.

In a joint statement released Monday, the presidents said they want "to underscore that the two institutions, while competing fiercely in athletics, have much in common in their academic and related aspirations and face many of the same challenges, fiscal and otherwise."

Both presidents will start off the day with late-morning meetings with university executives and then have sessions with deans, other faculty members and student leaders.

Despite the good-natured bad blood between the schools, UT senior Stephanie Melton said Bowen should get a hospitable welcome when he becomes president for a day.

"UT's a friendly campus," Melton said.