MICROSOFT president Bill Gates has bought the electronic rights to the work of US photographer Ansel Adams. The deal covers 2,500 pictures by the American photographer, who died in 1984.

The West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds and actress Jean Fergusson, the man hungry Marina of Last of the Summer Wine, are re creating the life of legendary Lancashire comedienne Hylda Baker who died in poverty 10 years ago.

Australian singer Jason Donovan is to play the role of Mordred in a new London production of the Lerner and Loewe musical Camelot, which opens next June.

Donovan made his name in the Australian television soap Neighbours, going on to star in the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, on holiday in the Austrian Alps, turned 66 yesterday but had to forgo a piece of birthday cake because he is on a diet.

The matter of the chancellor's weight is a state secret, but political opponents claim 170 kilos, while friendlier estimates put it at 130 kilos.

Brigitte Bardot and Sir Dirk Bogarde have been invited by the British Comedy Society to its second annual event at Pinewood Studios to celebrate the Doctor films which ran from the mid 1950s until 1970.

Bogarde played Dr Simon Sparrow in four of the seven films and he was joined in the second, Doctor At Sea, by Bardot.