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The daily dish ...

Fueled by star power...

No, weary race fans were not dreaming when they checked the leader board at daybreak of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Dr. Derek Shepherd was behind the wheel of the car at the front of the Grand Touring class when the sun came up on the twice-around-the-clock endurance event.

How could it be that an actor with the kitschy nickname "McDreamy" could be leading the most prestigious road race in America?

The answer, it turns out, is that actor Patrick Dempsey has developed into a pretty decent race car driver.

For a few hours Sunday, Dempsey Racing's No. 40 Mazda was inexplicably in contention for a win in a world-class sports car race. Neither Dempsey nor his team had ever led a lap at this level, nor sniffed a podium finish.

Victory was ultimately snatched away when teammate Tom Long spun with just under six hours remaining in the race, and the car fell four laps behind the GT leaders. But they rallied to a third-place finish, a career best for both Dempsey and his team that left the actor in tears.

"I'm retiring from 'Grey's Anatomy' as of today," Dempsey declared in his post-race news conference. "I'll be racing full-time from here on in. There's a headline for you."

He was joking, of course.


Baking with Martha...

The oven is on, Martha Stewart is in the kitchen, and class is in session.

Stewart is adding a new show dedicated to teaching the basics of baking to the growing list of programs her company produces for the Hallmark Channel, the cable network to which she moved her daily show, "The Martha Stewart Show," in the fall.

Stewart's initial ratings after the move were disappointing, but she says they have improved, and she believes viewers looking to learn -- rather than simply be entertained -- will appreciate the 13-episode "Martha Bakes" series.

The format of the series -- Stewart in the kitchen walking viewers step-by-step through recipes -- is at odds with much of the most popular food television today, which favors competitions and other reality-based programs.

"I don't think that I was put here on earth to sing and dance while I'm cooking," she says.


Arquette checks out...

David Arquette's publicist says the actor has checked out of rehab.

In an e-mail Monday to the Associated Press, Cindy Guagenti confirms the 39-year-old actor left Sunday after completing treatment for alcohol and other problems. He entered an undisclosed rehab center nearly a month ago.

Arquette and Courteney Cox announced their separation in October after 11 years of marriage. They have a 6-year-old daughter, Coco.


Back in tax trouble...

Reality TV star Richard Hatch, who spent more than three years behind bars for tax evasion, should go to jail for violating the conditions of his supervised release, federal prosecutors recommended Monday.

Hatch was convicted in 2006 of failing to pay taxes on the $1 million prize he won on the debut season of "Survivor." He was released from prison in 2009.

He was ordered to file amended tax returns for 2000 and 2001 as a condition of his release, which Hatch has failed to do. Hatch owes about $1.7 million in back taxes.

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