Plus, basket-brawler Ron Artest s music ignored, Baywatch worst show ever, and more

By Todd Peterson
Updated November 26, 2004 11:00 AM

SIGNED: Want fries with that? German model Heidi Klum has inked a two-year deal with burger giant McDonald s to bolster the company s image, New York s Daily News reports. The Victoria s Secret girl, who had a daughter in May, admitted a fondness for junk food in an interview earlier this year. I like to be healthy and eat well, she said. But I also like to have a good time and have an occasional glass of wine or French fries. Klum is also a spokeswoman for Target and Birkenstock shoes.

RAPPED: Ron Artest, the Indiana Pacer who has been suspended for the season following a bench-clearing brawl last week, isn t having much luck in his second career in the music biz, the Washington Post reports. Artest s new label, TruWarier, released Chapter III by girl group Allure on Tuesday, but so far no one seems to have noticed. The album was barely moving on, and only three of 15 copies had been sold at a Tower Records in Washington, D.C. Artest has a cameo appearance on the record.

BEACHED: Can t David Hasselhoff get a break? A British survey released Thursday voted Hasselhoff s Baywatch TV series the worst-ever U.S. import, the Associated Press reports. U.K. magazine Broadcast railed against the show s mind-numbing predictability. The Anna Nicole Smith Show and Dukes of Hazzard rounded out the top 3.

RECOVERING: British rocker Marc Almond, 47, is recovering from injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash last month. The former member of the group Soft Cell, whose 1984 hit Tainted Love was a hit in the U.K. and the United States, said the darker days of the ordeal are past, Reuters reports. In a statement on his Web site, Almond thanked fans and friends. The singer was injured when a motorcycle he was a passenger on collided with a car in London.

DIED: British novelist Arthur Hailey died in his sleep at his home in the Bahamas on Thursday, Reuters reports. The author of such books as Airport and Hotel had sold some 170 million copies of his titles worldwide. Hailey had been ill since suffering a stroke two months ago. He was 84. American author Larry Brown passed away of an apparent heart attack at his home near Oxford, Mississippi, the New York Times reports. The onetime fireman wrote dark, Southern stories, and one such collection, Big Bad Love, was turned into a movie in 2002. Brown was 53.