January 08, 2002 01:00 PM

VOTED: Australian pop star Kylie Minogue, 33, was named the world’s sexiest woman Tuesday in a poll conducted among readers of Britain’s Heat magazine. Jennifer Lopez, 31, came in second, while for the second year in a row, singer Robbie Williams was named Sexiest Man in the celebrity news magazine poll. England soccer captain David Beckham, 26, improved his position to take second place away from Brad Pitt, 38. For the record, PEOPLE’s most recent Sexiest Man Alive is Pierce Brosnan, 48 . . . RESIGNED: ABC Entertainment Television Group co-chairman Stuart Bloomberg, a 22-year vet of the network who is reportedly largely responsible for the blanket programming of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” left his job Monday in a shake-up aimed at getting the Disney-owned network out of the ratings basement. Susan Lyne, the new president of ABC Entertainment, replaced him. While “Millionaire” has lost a lot of cache this season, other ABC stalwarts also have dramatically slipped in the ratings, among them: “Dharma & Greg,” “The Drew Carey Show” and “Spin City” . . . ILL: Latin pop album of the year Grammy nominee Freddy Fender, 64, suffering from hepatitis C and other health problems, is scheduled to undergo surgery on Jan. 24 in Texas to receive a kidney donated by his daughter, Marla Garcia, 21, reports the Associated Press. “I’m already thinking about my (Grammy) acceptance speech,” the singer said in a statement . . . DIED: DIED: Friendly Wendy’s hamburger chain founder and pitchman, DAVE THOMAS, 69, died at his home in Florida, the company said Tuesday. No cause of death was given. Last year, Thomas began receiving kidney dialysis treatments and he had a quadruple heart bypass operation in 1996. His was a household face and name since 1989, when he began appearing in TV ads for his chain. Comic AVERY SCHREIBER, 66, who, with partner Jack Burns, was a ’60s and ’70s fixture on such TV shows as “Ed Sullivan” and “The Hollywood Palace,” died in Los Angeles of a heart attack on Monday, his wife said . . . MARKED: Like the swallows annually returning to Capistrano, Elvis’s fans are swarming to Graceland in Memphis on Jan. 8, which would have been Elvis Presley’s 67th birthday. Following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a focus on Presley’s military service seemed appropriate for the celebration, Todd Morgan, a spokesman for Graceland, told the AP. “Elvis was a patriot,” Morgan said.

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