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Jennifer Paterson of "Two Fat Ladies' dies

Jennifer Paterson, star of the television cooking show Two Fat Ladies, which was broadcast on public television stations and cable's Food Network, died Tuesday at a London hospital where she was being treated for lung cancer. She was 71. She had undergone tests last month after falling ill during filming of the cooking program that brought stardom to her and co-star Clarissa Dickson Wright.

With her eccentric manner and fondness for smoking and high living, Paterson had become one of television's most unlikely celebrities. In Two Fat Ladies, she and Ms. Wright toured Britain on a motorcycle and sidecar, collecting ingredients and trading wry quips about cooking, entertaining and life in general.

In Paterson's honor, the Food Network is devoting two hours to the show starting at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Pair of local swing dancers

try to avoid the gong

Who says swing is dead? Not local dancers Angel Tidwell and Jim Formelio, whose high-flying moves have won them a spot on the Extreme Gong $10,000 Tournament of Talent, on the Game Show network, airing at 11 p.m. Aug. 24.

The one-hour special marks the second year of the show. Tidwell and Formelio, both 22, got on the show by winning the local talent search, held earlier this year in Clearwater. Among other contestants appearing in the national competition: a music student, auto painter, upholsterer and toy store owner. Viewers will be able to call in to keep an act on stage, or "gong" it off the stage.

"Private Ryan' earns

new honor for Spielberg

Filmmaker Steven Spielberg will be given the Pentagon's public service award today, primarily for his movie Saving Private Ryan. Defense Secretary William Cohen feels the film helped increase national "understanding of the contribution that our military has made to our nation's security and character," Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said Tuesday. He said Cohen would present the award to Spielberg at a Pentagon ceremony.

Founder, ex-manager

of Spice Girls killed

Bob Herbert, the man behind the Spice Girls, has been killed in a car accident. He was 57.

Herbert, who brought the Spice Girls together and lately managed the teen pop group Five, was killed Monday afternoon, according to RCA, Five's record company.

Herbert died after he lost control of his car in heavy rain and it collided with another car in Windsor, west of London. Two people in the other car were injured.

Herbert and his son, Chris, sought candidates for the Spice Girls via an ad in a trade magazine in 1996. The group later fired Herbert in favor of another manager.

Group for quality TV

snubs networks

Viewers for Quality Television saluted Everybody Loves Raymond and The Practice, but for the first time in four years the citizen watchdog group did not honor a network with one of its annual awards.

The 2,000-member organization named ABC's The Practice its best drama for the second year in a row. CBS's Everybody Loves Raymond won four awards, including best comedy.

The group skipped its Network Commitment to Quality award.

"It would have been a stretch to justify giving it," Dorothy Swanson, the organization's founder, said Monday, when the winners were announced.

Gillian Anderson of The X-Files and Dennis Franz of NYPD Blue were named top actors in dramas. Ray Romano and Patricia Heaton of Everybody Loves Raymond won top acting awards for comedies.

Camryn Manheim and Steve Harris of The Practice, Doris Roberts of Everybody Loves Raymond and Peter MacNicol of Ally McBeal won supporting actor awards.

NBC's Will & Grace won the group's founders' award, which honors an individual or series that has made a significant contribution but received little recognition.

TV cameras focus

on Tampa's Voyeur Dorm

Tonight's episode of 20/20 Wednesday will highlight Voyeur Dorm, a Web site that features seven Tampa women showering, sleeping, eating and getting dressed in front of 40 cameras that broadcast their lives over the Internet. The Web site says they are college women who live together. Actually, they are employees of 27-year-old Seth Warshavsky, head of a successful cyberporn company. The program airs at 10 p.m. on WFTS-TV, Ch. 28.

_ Staff, wire reports.

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