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24 October 2005
OFF THE RECORD
By Pat Roller

>> FOR those who have always wondered, Catherine Zeta-Jones has revealed the secret behind her happy marriage to Michael Douglas - it's the age gap.

The Zorro actress said she and her hubby are convinced a healthy generation gap stamps out any chance of professional rivalry - leaving them free to enjoy their romance without resentment.

She says: "I think that for me... the fact that we're at a 25-year age difference is kind of fantastic.

"We're in different places in our lives career-wise. We're not vying for the attention that maybe two actors around the same age would."

We have no doubt that the age gap works out for them professionally. Short of a remake of The Beverly Hillbillies - think Jed, think Elly May - they're unlikely ever to be in the same movie, which makes childcare so much simpler to arrange.

And they're even luckier when it comes to doing endorsements.What other married couple stand a chance of landing deals for both Stolichnoya and Sanatogen

>> X-FACTOR cad Simon Cowell has reportedly refused to have a child with his long-term girlfriend, telling her to buy a terrapin instead. Thewebsite contactmusic.com reports that his partner,TV presenter Terri Seymour, is getting broody, but he said there wasno place in his life now for a child, adding: "I told her to buy a terrapin because they can be affectionate andwe'll have a little pet, but it didn't go down too well."

Quite right too. Most people would think that's a turtley unreasonable suggestion

>> A BAND comprising four girl singers who share the unusual distinction of having once been boys are taking Asia by storm.

The debut album by Lady is selling like hotcakes in South Korea, and they have gigs lined up in China, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The girls - Shinae, Sahara, Binu,and Yoona - all have looks to die for,and all were born male and have had sex-change ops.

No word yet on what they'll release as a debut single over here.But our money's on a cover of The First Cut Is The Deepest.And how about changing the name to Take That Away.

>> THIS is British Cheese Week. Just for fun, try totting up how many Darius pictures you spot in the papers over the next seven days

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