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News Archive: May 2004
Gillian's young costar in TMC
Posted at 2:25 PM (PDT) on Sunday, May 30, 2004

Knockout blow for budding Ulster star

By David Kelly
30 May 2004
Belfast Telegraph

Movie producers have delivered a knockout blow to a young Belfast boxer's hopes to fight for Ireland in an upcoming championship.

For budding young acting star Tyrone McKenna has been banned from the ring . . . until he completes filming alongside Hollywood stars Gillian Anderson and Robert Carlyle in the movie The Big Celt.

The 14-year-old - a two-time Irish champ - is currently shooting scenes as Donal, the son of the former X Files star's character, Kate, in the movie being produced in Belfast.

And, it is understood that McKenna has impressed everyone on the set, with just how he has taken to acting.

He is now being tipped to follow in the footsteps of another former Ulster amateur boxer, Liam Neeson, now one of Hollywood's hottest properties.

But, the teen - who fights for Oliver Plunkett ABC - has been ordered to remove his gloves, until the movie is in the can, for fears he could be injured.

That means McKenna will have to withdraw from the Irish team, to fight in a Four Nations competition, this week, and an international bout against England, next month.

However, while he has been sharing lunch daily with Anderson and Carlyle, the young man has been continuing to keep himself in shape, just in case they allow him to box against England.

"Tyrone has been coming to the gym whenever he can and staying in shape," said boxing coach, Paddy McAllister.

"He's a great kid, but it looks like he will not be able to box, until the film is finished.

"I think he would have preferred to have been boxing, but this is a big chance for him, and he knows that."

Antrim Board president, Harry Cunningham, certainly believes McKenna has a bright ring future, whether or not he continues to perform on the big screen.

"He's a two-time Irish champion, and he is one of the most promising kids around at the moment," said Cunningham.

To be auctioned this summer
Posted at 12:46 PM (PDT) on Sunday, May 30, 2004

Two items to be auctioned online this summer:

1. A framed painting of Scully by Dennis Foote. It is about 2'x10" square and includes a personal letter to the buyer from Gillian Anderson. Proceeds from this item will benefit NfA in the UK.

2. One of the two marquees that were on display outside The Royal Court Theatre during the run of The Sweetest Swing in Baseball. Dimensions are 7'H, 2'6"W. It is on flexiboard - foldable and very light. It will be on display at the upcoming July 10 fundraiser event in London where it will be autographed by Gillian Anderson. Proceeds from this item will benefit NfA in the UK and NF, Inc. in the USA.


Buyers are responsible for shipping and handling fees. More details later.

Update on the July 10 NfA Fundraiser with Gillian and Buskaid
Posted at 10:00 AM (PDT) on Thursday, May 27, 2004

This might be of interest to all the collectors out there: "Tickets will be handmade so will be exclusive to this event."

Also, it has come to our attention that there seems to be some confusion regarding who is officially organising the July 10 event to benefit NfA and Buskaid. Even though Roberta Tweedy is no longer the director of NfA, she is nevertheless still very much involved with them and in charge of organising this event. Since charitable organisations often rely on the help of volunteers, they have also accepted two fans' offer to make the tickets, help in decorating the venue, and do some of the catering. These fans are merely lending a helping hand and are not involved in 'organising' the event. Absolutely no one, not even the volunteers, will have access to the event without first donating the minimum requested amount in exchange for one of the lovely handmade tickets.

For information on this event, please click here.

More TMC film news from Belfast
Posted at 5:56 AM (PDT) on Thursday, May 27, 2004

Belfast News Letter (Northern Ireland)
May 26, 2004, Wednesday


By Richard Sherriff

IF you should spot actor Robert Carlyle walking around Belfast with a greyhound, don't be alarmed but get the dog's autograph.

After Kes, Black Beauty and Seabiscuit, the Mighty Celt - now shooting in the city - could well be the next box-office hit.

Having Carlyle and X-Files star Gillian Anderson as leads is no mean start but the main action is concentrated on the relationship between teenager Tyrone McKenna and the aforementioned greyhound which gives the film its name.

McKenna plays Donal, a 14-year-old who adopts a greyhound which kennel owner and breeder Good Joe has given up on and becomes determined to train it up as a championship contender.

On Donal's side is his mum Kate, played by Anderson, seen here yesterday between takes on the Ormeau Road, and "O", played by Carlyle, an old friend of the family and old flame of Kate, while Ken Stott plays the not quite so Good Joe.

Filmed by the BBC with backing from the Irish Film Board and the Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission, the film follows Donal as he strives to meet Good Joe's challenge - get The Mighty Celt to win three times in a row and the dog is his. In the meantime, the past is brought to life in the relationship between Kate and O.

Having a ball in Belfast
Posted at 6:21 AM (PDT) on Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The Mirror
By Paul Martin

X-Files star Gillian Anderson was drinking on the job yesterday as she soaked up the sun in Belfast.

Gillian, 35, took a break from filming on the streets of the city to sip from a bottle of water and chat to her co-stars.

She is starring in The Mighty Celt alongside Trainspotting star Robert Carlyle and will be in the North for the next three weeks.

"I'm having a ball," she said. "It's a great city and I can't wait to see more of it."

The Mirror also reports that she wasted no time getting used to the luxurious surroundings of her hotel in Belfast and showed the staff how appreciative she was for their help with generous tips.

Within minutes of arriving, she requested the number of a top local beautician and hair stylist. Then she went to the hotel's best room and enjoyed a bath while ordering room service.

The Mirror's source explained: "She was extremely nice to everyone and seemed to be enjoying a life of luxury. She also tips very well so needless to say the staff are very happy."

In Belfast for film shoot
Posted at 5:28 AM (PDT) on Tuesday, May 25, 2004

By Maureen Coleman
Belfast Telegraph
25 May 2004

X-FILES star Gillian Anderson was today in Belfast preparing to begin filming The Mighty Celt.

The actress, once voted the sexiest women in the world, slipped in unnoticed at Belfast City Airport around lunchtime yesterday, where she was whisked away to meet the movie's production team.

Staff at the airport failed to recognise her as she mingled with other passengers.

The American actress plays the lead female role Kate in the film, alongside newcomer Tyrone McKenna, who plays her teenage son Donal, and award-winning actor Robert Carlyle.

Carlyle, star of Trainspotting and The Full Monty, plays an old family friend called O, who returns home after 15 years abroad.

As the story develops it becomes apparent that Kate and O have a history and after a dramatic revelation, their relationship slowly begins to reignite.

The Mighty Celt, written and directed by Pearse Elliott, is a joint production by Treasure Entertainment and the BBC.

A spokeswoman for Treasure Entertainment said: "Filming has already started and Gillian's scenes get under way this week. We're delighted to have her on board."

The movie will be shot in Belfast over the next five weeks.

New Film Shoot Starts on Monday
Posted at 3:35 PM (PDT) on Sunday, May 16, 2004

Sunday Mirror
May 16, 2004
Ulster Edition

Gillian's Next File; Sci-Fi TV Star Jets in to start work on new film

By Lynne Kelleher

X-FILES beauty Gillian Anderson is to jet into Belfast today for her latest move role as the ex-girlfriend of an IRA terrorist just released from jail.

The American actress, who was once voted the sexiest woman on the planet, will star opposite Scottish actor Robert Carlyle in the film called The Mighty Celts.

The actress is due to play the mother of his son and the film will be shot in Belfast over the next six weeks.

When Carlyle's character is freed from jail after 12 years, he bumps into his old flame Kate and later discovers he had fathered her 11-year-old son Donal.

The pounds 2 million low-budget movie, which is scheduled to begin shooting tomorrow, is set in the world of greyhound racing as the little boy helps out at racing kennels.

A movie insider said: "Gillian Anderson and Robert Carlyle will be flying in this week. It's a sweet story about the boy and how they relate to him. Robert Carlyle's character, who is nicknamed 'O', is unaware he has a son at first. A lot of the film is about him getting to know his son and his mother after all those years in jail."

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny shot to fame around the world when the X-Files burst on to our screens just over a decade ago.

The latest film about the reformed IRA assassin and his new family was originally entitled Valhalla, it has been revealed, but producers have changed the name to The Mighty Celts.

Carlyle played psychopaths in Cracker and Trainspotting, and starred as Hitler in The Rise Of Evil.

The Mighty Celts, which is funded by the Irish Film Board, TV3 and the BBC, will be shot entirely on location in Belfast over the coming weeks.

Doodleday, Australia 2005 Update
Posted at 6:40 AM (PDT) on Sunday, May 16, 2004

Radio Fremantle in Perth, Western Australia, will be interviewing the Australian Doodleday coordinator about the upcoming NF fundraisers. For those interested in listening to the program, please tune in to 107.9 Radio Freemantle on Wednesday, 19th May, at 9:50 am.

The interview will be focusing on Neurofibromatosis as it is NF Awareness month and will also discuss the ongoing support of Gillian Anderson as well as the other fundraisers that take place internationally.

Buskaid on 60 Minutes II
Posted at 9:51 AM (PDT) on Friday, May 14, 2004

The Buskaid Soweto String Project was featured on 60 Minutes II this week (May 12th). A video clip of the segment is available to view here, courtesy of Gillian and David: The Archives.

The clip is a 21.7 mb zipped Windows Media file (length of 12:57). Gillian is briefly shown and interviewed near the end of the segment.

The corresponding article is available to read here at

"The Mighty Celt" (aka Valhalla)
Posted at 7:05 AM (PDT) on Friday, May 14, 2004

Irish Film and Television Network Film News Section

"The Mighty Celt" begins shooting May 17

Treasure Entertainment have confirmed their new feature film now entitled "The Mighty Celt" (aka Valhalla) is scheduled to begin shooting in Belfast on Monday the 17th of May 2004, starring Robert Carlyle and Ex-Files star Gillian Anderson.

Carlyle and Anderson play the lead roles of Donal and Kate in a contemporary coming of age tale story set in the world of Greyhound Racing. Ken Stott, who recently appeared in 'King Arthur', is also expected to appear in a supporting role. Both Carlyle and Anderson are expected to join the shoot in 2 weeks.

The 6 week production has a budget of EUR2.8million and is funded by BBC Films, The Irish Film Board, NIFTC and TV3, the latter securing the television distribution rights for Ireland.

Treasure Entertainment is owned by Paddy Breathnach who have well known films I Went Down, Saltwater and Southpaw in their list of credits.

In his feature debut Pearse Elliot will direct. Elliot has previously directed the BBCNI TV series "Pulling Moves" and wrote Breathnach's other feature "Man About Dog."

The movie is being handled by sales agents The Works in Cannes this week.

The Mirror
May 14, 2004, Friday

Carlyle a Mighty Celt Star
By James Tait

Scots actor Robert Carlyle is teaming up with Gillian Anderson to star in The Mighty Celt.

Set against the backdrop of post-Troubles Northern Ireland, the film revolves around the friendship that develops between a young boy and a greyhound.

BBC Films and the Northern Ireland Film & Television Commission will bankroll the production, with additional cash from the UK National Lottery.

The Mighty Celt marks Anderson's return to UK film making after she won acclaim in Terence Davies's House Of Mirth.

Pearse Elliot, author of Breathnachs Man About Dog, wrote The Mighty Celt and will also direct the movie.

Filming is due to begin in Northern Ireland later this month.

Trainspotting star Carlyle is also being lined up for Abraham's Daughter, a horror movie based on satanic child murders which is to be directed by Antonia Bird.

Prehistoric audience member at SSiB
Posted at 2:03 PM (PDT) on Thursday, May 13, 2004

Evening Standard
May 13, 2004

Actress Gillian Anderson had the shock of her life the other day at the Royal Court Theatre where she is starring in The Sweetest Swing in Baseball. A man with a 6ft high stuffed dinosaur, and four baby dinosaurs, was sitting in the front row. When people in the second row complained about the obstruction to their view, it transpired that the dinosaur's ticket was paid for, at £25 for the seat.

The man also bought his docile pet a half pint of beer at the bar in the interval. He was persuaded to put his companion on the floor during the second half, but they all popped up afterwards to meet the actress at the end of the show.

Thanks to Amy Evenstad!

X-Files 9th Season DVD Set
Posted at 12:07 PM (PDT) on Monday, May 10, 2004

The Complete 9th Season of The X-Files will be released on DVD tomorrow, May 11th. It is available to purchase from for $69.99.

Gillian joins the Save the Coronet campaign
Posted at 6:02 AM (PDT) on Monday, May 10, 2004

Independent on Sunday (London)
May 9, 2004, Sunday

Stars line up to save cinema from evangelicals' wholesome movies

By Steve Bloomfield

Joseph Fiennes, one of Britain's most bankable Hollywood stars, has launched a broadside at evangelical Christians who have taken over his local cinema.

Fiennes, who has played Christ on stage, heads a galaxy of famous residents, promising to save the Coronet in fashionable Notting Hill, west London. Mariella Frostrup, former X-Files actress Gillian Anderson, and film-maker Bernardo Bertolucci have signed up to the campaign.

A radical evangelical church, the Elim Pentecostal, purchased the Coronet cinema last month for £3m and is now planning to show "wholesome films for family viewing". It will also be used as a theatre and a place of worship. Alongside the Hollywood blockbuster Troy and the latest disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow, the new Coronet's first programme will include The Passion of the Christ and Man Dancing, a modern-day take on the story of Christ that was panned by the critics.

But its celebrity audience fears the cinema could eventually stop showing films for good. The church's website declares its aim is "to redeem the arts through Christian discipleship", a statement dismissed by Fiennes as "ridiculous".

"It's not what the arts are about," he said. "To redeem the arts through films like The Passion of the Christ smacks of fundamentalism and with the current world political position we don't need that."

His view was echoed by fellow actor Tom Hollander. "It's offensive - the arts don't require redemption," said the star of Gosford Park and the BBC's Cambridge Spies. "The arts exists within a morally complicated zone, unlike an evangelical church which is morally infantile."

Ms Anderson, who has lived in Notting Hill for the past two years, said: "It would be a crying shame if the community lost their local cinema. I have absolutely nothing against churches, but this is a beautiful landmark building."

It is not the first time that an independent cinema in London has been taken over by a radical church. The 1,800-seat Rainbow cinema in Finsbury Park, which once also hosted gigs by Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles, was sold to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, which has turned it into its UK headquarters and no longer uses it to show films.

Waltham Forest council last year refused the same group planning permission for a church at a cinema frequented by the young Alfred Hitchcock, because it would have left residents without a cinema.

Gillian on Radio Show (May 10th)
Posted at 7:24 PM (PDT) on Sunday, May 9, 2004

Gillian will be on the BBC's Steve Wright radio show from 2-5 pm (UK time) tomorrow, May 10th.

Click here for more information.

Thanks Norma.

UK Fundraiser with Gillian Anderson
Posted at 11:17 AM (PDT) on Friday, May 7, 2004

Fundraiser with Gillian Anderson in aid of The Neurofibromatosis Association and Buskaid

WHEN: Saturday, 10th July from 3.00pm to 6.00pm

WHERE: St Mary's Church, Wyndham Place, London W1

DETAILS: After tea, coffee and soft drinks, the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble will play a selection of their wonderful interpretations of both African and classical music (30-45 minutes). This will be followed by two hours in which you will have the opportunity to ask Gillian all the questions you have always wanted answered. Before leaving, there will be some wine and small eats.

There will be an auction to enable the ten highest bidders to have their photos taken individually with Gillian; a raffle to win prizes of various items of memorabilia and, maybe, even some surprises.

COST: Tickets are available for a minimum donation of £100. If you are a UK taxpayer, be sure to let the organizers know that you would like the charities to claim Gift Aid. In doing so, the charities will be able to claim back an extra 28% from each donation.

RECOMMENDED ATTIRE: Smart. While it is not an evening event, we would like people to look their best in honour of Gillian.

HOW TO PAY: Those wishing to purchase tickets need to email Turid Gibson at to register your interest. She will inform you how best to use your credit card to buy a ticket. For those wishing to pay by cheque, please forward payment to:

Turid Gibson
The Neurofibromatosis Association
Quayside House
38 High Street
Kingston on Thames
Surrey KT1 1HL
Tel: 44 (0) 20 8439 1234
Fax: 44 (0) 20 8439 120

ACCOMMODATIONS: For those wishing to stay in London; on behalf of The Neurofibromatosis Association and Buskaid, Centralrez are able to offer discounted hotel accommodation from budget to deluxe. To take advantage of this, please contact Michelle Ryan on 44 (0) 1942 203303 or fax 44 (0) 1942 205010 or email: quoting ref: 235.

This is a unique opportunity to combine hearing the Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble play as well as being able to chat with Gillian. It is also raising money for two of Gillian's favourite charities so you will be supporting a worthwhile cause.

Please support us by coming to the event.

Thank you!

PETA Continues Battle to Retire Ailing Elephants to Sanctuary
Posted at 1:28 PM (PDT) on Monday, May 3, 2004

Hot-Weather Animals’ Health in Decline After a Year at Lincoln Park Zoo

May 3, 2004

Nicole Meyer 757-622-7382

Chicago — Holding signs reading, "Lincoln Park Zoo: A Cold, Cruel Place for Elephants," PETA members will turn up the pressure on the Lincoln Park Zoo to retire three aging and ailing female African elephants to a sanctuary by protesting directly in front of the elephant exhibit on the zoo’s grounds:

Date: Tuesday, May 4
Time: 12 noon
Place: Elephant exhibit, Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St.

All three elephants — who were discarded by the San Diego Wild Animal Park to make space for new, young elephants, captured in Africa — have been visibly suffering since arriving at Lincoln Park Zoo one year ago. In addition to the fact that they have spent many cold months warehoused in a concrete back room, one elephant has sustained a crippling leg injury, another is losing weight, and the third continually sways from side to side—a neurotic condition indicating severe stress. The injured elephant is apparently being kept from public display, which has led to speculation that her condition has worsened. Lincoln Park Zoo has refused to disclose the elephants’ medical records, keeper logs, and daily activity reports.

Last December, actor and Chicago native Gillian Anderson wrote to the zoo’s director, Kevin Bell, pleading that he send the three elephants to a sanctuary with a climate and conditions that are more appropriate for African elephants. PETA has offered to pay for the animals’ transport to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Ray Ryan, who cared for the elephants as their keeper for five years in San Diego and will be attending the protest, has stated, "It is my firm belief that these elephants are dying in their new environment, and if not retired to a sanctuary soon, will not last more than a few years at Lincoln Park Zoo."

"Zoo officials are interested in cash cows, and that deafened them to public pleas not to accept these elephants in the first place," says PETA Director Debbie Leahy. "Now they’re refusing to retire the elephants to a sanctuary and trying to cover up obvious signs that the animals are suffering."

Broadcast-quality footage of the three elephants is available. For more information, please visit PETA’s Web site

Doodleday, Australia 2005
Posted at 11:14 AM (PDT) on Monday, May 3, 2004

Gillian has recently supported the Neurofibromatosis Association in Perth, Australia. A doodle that she has drawn will go to auction next year, along with other celebrity doodles for the launch of the first ever Australian Doodleday. The fundraiser will benefit the Neurofibromatosis association in Perth as well as the two doodle charities in the UK (Neurofibromatosis and Epilepsy).

Gillian's doodle

The dates for Doodleday in Australia are yet to be confirmed but we can advise you that the launch will take place in the early months of 2005. You can visit the Australian NF website via the address The official Australian Doodleday site will be up and running very soon, so keep your eyes open for that.

We are still looking for people to help with sponsorship of the event and we are also open to your creative ideas and suggestions. If you can assist in any way, please contact the coordinators via the email

If you have experienced Neurofibromatosis yourself and you would like to share your story, please send us an email. Your stories will be posted on the Australian Doodleday website and will help educate others about your journey and how you have been personally affected by the condition.

This event is being made possible with the fantastic help of NFA's Roberta Tweedy!

New Cafe Press Items
Posted at 11:10 AM (PDT) on Monday, May 3, 2004

In honor of Dana Fielding (Gillian's Sweetest Swing in Baseball character) and her love of baseball-playing chickens, we've created a Chicken Collection for our Cafe Press store.

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