Reality check: Tilda Swinton to play White Witch

Nicole disappears - just like magic New Zealand director Andrew Adamson has chosen ethereal-looking British actor Tilda Swinton to play the White Witch in his coming local production of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

Not so many months ago, another publication conjured up Nicole Kidman for the role, but she seems to have faded into the southern mists, where she was recently rumoured to have been wandering among possible locations.

Shrek director Adamson announced his choice at the Cannes Film Festival, where Swinton is serving as a judge on the Palme d'Or panel. The upper-class Scot, who went to school with Princess Diana and whose family have lived in the same ancestral home since the 9th century, is best known for her role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach, but is mostly associated with independent movies such as Caravaggio (1986) and Orlando (1992). In her next outing, in the C. S. Lewis fantasy, she will use her dark powers to keep the magical land of Narnia in winter for 100 years.

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The eternally youthful Cliff Richard rates his concert at Mission Winery last year as one of the highlights of his long career.

"That summer's evening at The Mission was one of them. The setting and atmosphere were amazing."

And now he is offering fans the chance to share the experience, with the show featuring on a just-launched World Tour DVD.

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National Party law and order spokesman Tony Ryall was distracted during an interview with the Weekend Herald by the sight through his Tauranga window of a woman stripping lemons off his tree.

"That's crime in Tauranga," was his philosophical comment as he rushed off the phone.

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New Zealand Post has moved to reassure children who have received a chain letter that they will not be in any danger if they break the chain.

The chain, which purports to have begun in 1996, tells recipients they do not need to pay postage when passing it on to seven others and exhorts them to keep it circulating.

"The Post Office is monitoring to see who breaks the chain!"

A NZ Post spokesman says: "Big Brother is not watching them." And, he adds, there is no postal exemption.


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