WEEK IN REVIEW: Claudia's Cover-Up
CLAUDIA COVERED: Instead of getting cheers, the bride got jeers Saturday, Reuters reported of the wedding of German supermodel Claudia Schiffer and British film producer Matthew Vaughn, both 31. The reason: The crowd waiting outside eastern England’s Coldham Hall, the couple’s residential manor, wanted a peek at the bride as she left her house for the wedding at St. George’s Church in Shimpling. What they got instead, said the news service, was the sight of Schiffer draped in a blanket. “We were all so disappointed and disgusted,” gawker Janet Damant told the news service. Guests, who presumably saw the bride in all her glory, included tennis star Boris Becker, Madonna’s husband Guy Ritchie, Sting’s wife Trudie Styler and designer Valentino.
HOIST ANCHOR: On Tuesday, NBC announced a generational change. In November of 2004, Brian Williams, 43, will take over the network’s “Nightly News” anchor seat that has been occupied by Tom Brokaw, 62, since 1983. Brokaw, according to press reports covering the news conference, will remain with NBC News through 2007. The news was hardly surprising, with speculation over the past few months more about when the succession was going to happen rather than who would replace Brokaw. Williams, who for the past six years has anchored MSNBC’s little-seen nightly newscasts and regularly sits in when Brokaw is on vacation or away on assignment, has long been the heir apparent. Previously he was NBC’s chief White House correspondent from 1994 to 1996.
CURTSY, SHARON: VH1 announced that its on-air host for the June 3 all-star concert celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee will be none other than Sharon Osbourne, 50, the matriarch from MTV’s runaway success, “The Osbournes,” the Associated Press reported. (VH1 is MTV’s sister network.) Old Man Osbourne, Ozzy, 53, will actually be one of the performers at the event which shall mark Her Majesty’s 50 years on the throne, with festivities to be staged over the weekend on the grounds of London’s Buckingham Palace. Also set to sing and play are Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Aretha Franklin and Paul McCartney, PEOPLE.com has reported.
RECOVERY ENDS: As a morning fog spread on Thursday from the New York Harbor to the site, only a few blocks north, known as Ground Zero, the city hit last Sept. 11 marked the end of the World Trade Center recovery effort — three months ahead of schedule — and a new beginning for the site where thousands perished on that fateful day. Almost 1,800 of the 2,823 victims have yet to be identified, news reports noted. Thursday’s ceremony began at 10:29 a.m., the precise time that the second tower collapsed. “We cannot forget why we are here,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Thursday’s “Today” show. “Twenty-eight hundred people gave their lives in the name of freedom.”
UP & DOWNS: Monday night in a Discovery Channel TV special, Americans rated the best roller coasters, with top honors going to the wooden Beast at Paramount’s King Island, Ohio (height: 105 ft.; drop: 141 ft.; speed: 64.8 mph; duration: 3:40 min.), and the steel-framed Incredible Hulk at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando (height: 110 ft.; drop: 105 ft.; speed: 67 mph; duration: 2:15 min.). Offering a preview of the survey results on Monday’s “Today” show, David Escalante, a board member of American Coasters Enthusiast, sitting in the Hulk, was asked by Katie Couric which is the best seat on a ride, the front or the back? “I’m in it,” Escalante responded, “the front seat.”