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'JET LAG' BLAMED FOR PRIESTLEY'S RAVINGS

Fox News Channel producers got more than they bargained for when Jason Priestley showed up for an interview stinking of booze and launched into on-air rants about Canadians and tabloids, reports the New York Post.

The ex-"Beverly Hills, 90210" heartthrob appeared on Fox News Live with Linda Vester to promote his new documentary, "Barenaked in America," about the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies.

Sources said Priestley fell asleep in the makeup chair, where he was awakened twice before being left alone to "collect himself."

"We actually had discussions about whether or not we should let him go on air," said the source. But after the final nap in the makeup chair Priestley seemed coherent enough.

But after talking for a few minutes about his documentary, Priestley went into a riff.

"There aren't that many Canadians left. There's only 25,000, um, 25 million left ... We were once 30 million but most people fled the country because they were tired of listening to Celine Dion music," Priestley said. Then he started in on fame.

"I went to theater school, not fame school. There's no class you can take for how to deal with the press 101 or what to do when the National Enquirer is going through your garbage 404. People at the National Enquirer ... make lies up so they can sell bleeping papers!"

Priestley's representative, Annett Wolf, blamed his behavior on jet lag.

Knight Ridder

GELDOF'S EX-WIFE TO BE BURIED

LONDON (REUTERS) - The funeral of British TV celebrity Paula Yates will take place today in a village church in Kent close to the home she used to share with her ex-husband, Sir Bob Geldof.

Yates was found dead last Sunday at her home in London's trendy Notting Hill district.

British media reports say an empty vodka bottle and a partly empty bottle of painkillers lay by her naked body.

She lived a fast and furious life and had a well-publicized battle with alcohol and drugs.

Police are treating the death of the 41-year-old former TV presenter as suspicious until the cause of death has been established.

The funeral in the 12th century church is expected to attract a list of celebrities, including ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney.

Yates and Geldof were married in Las Vegas in 1986 and together they had three daughters -- Fifi Trixibelle, 17, Peaches, 11, and Pixie, 10.

Yates and Geldof were divorced in 1996 and shortly after she gave birth to her fourth child, 4-year-old Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence. The father was Australian rock star Michael Hutchence, the leader of the INXS band. He was found hanged in a Sydney hotel room in 1997.

Tiger Lily found her mother in bed Sunday morning. The girl is being cared for by Geldof, who now lives in London with actress Jeanne Marine.

RATE OF PAY TO KING SLOWS

PORTLAND, MAINE (AP) - As Stephen King prepares to post the third installment of his online serial novel "The Plant," it appears fewer people fear the horror writer's threat to pull the plug if they don't pay.

Most fans are obeying the honor system and sending King $1 for each installment downloaded from his site, www.stephenking.com. Some send in extra bucks to cover freeloaders.

But the latest numbers showed that just under 70 percent of those downloading "The Plant" paid for it. King said part three, which will be available Monday, will be the last if the payment numbers don't go back up to 75 percent.

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