Insider

updated 02/09/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/09/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

RAY OF LIGHT?
When Madonna and Britney Spears arrived in Cannes last week for the NRJ Awards, the Material Mom sought out the beleaguered singer for a private tête-à-tête. I'm told she gave Britney a sisterly but stern lecture about her behavior, including her quickie marriage and how to take better care of herself. Did Madonna get through to the pop star? Hard to say. "The light's on but no one's home," says a source who was there. "Such a sweet thing but so lost." Madonna's concern isn't new. During a rehearsal for their MTV performance last August, Madonna scolded Spears for smoking. "I like the way it makes my voice sound," said Spears. "Do you think you'll like cancer?" Madonna replied. Maybe papa don't preach—but pop stars do.

CHANNEL SURFING
How hot is American Idol? Barry Manilow and former Stray Cat Brian Setzer will be guest judges, and producers confirm they are talking to Elton John and Paul McCartney about taking a seat next to Simon, Paula and Randy. Meanwhile, over at MTV's Newlyweds, Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey watched their show's opener at home, then called MTV execs the next morning to ask about the ratings. Says a source close to the couple: "They always want to know, 'Did people watch it? Did they like it?' "

FAMILY MATTERS
Sharon Osbourne's talk show was not renewed for a second season—no surprise, given its lukewarm ratings—but she's already in discussions with a network about a TV comeback. Over a recent dinner, the delightfully gabby Mrs. O told me that it would be a Friday late-night show she'd cohost with her husband, Ozzy Osbourne, who's back at home following his accident in December. As for their three kids, she reports that Jack is still sober, Aimee has moved to Manhattan, and 19-year-old Kelly has sold her house and will live in the family's Beverly Hills mansion. "She's not ready to be on her own," said Sharon, who saved the best news for last—she's cancer-free!

HEIR BORNE
The peripatetic Paris Hilton seems to be everywhere these days. But one place you won't find her is in the romantic comedy Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! Her big scene, and one of the film's most expensive, featured the heiress du jour in a leopard-print bikini and diamond-encrusted Dolce & Gabbana heels parachuting over a freeway and into a swimming pool. According to the movie's director, Robert Luketic, Hilton did her own stunts and looked better than a Bond babe stepping out of the pool. Alas, the moment didn't fit with the rest of the movie, and the blonde spot had to be cut. But get ready to push the pause button, boys, because it will be included on the DVD, along with other outtakes. Says Luketic: "We shot it from every angle possible."

FAST TAKES

I hear New England Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY, who hooked up with TARA REID after winning the 2002 Super Bowl, is dating actress BRIDGET MOYNAHAN (Sum of All Fears)....

Waiting to Exhale's LELA ROCHON and her director husband, ANTOINE FUQUA (Training Day), are expecting their second child, a boy, in May....

KYLE MACLACHLAN has admitted he's gray. "This is the real me," he says. "I did a little film called Touch of Pink, and in it I play Cary Grant, so I decided to just let the gray grow out."

MORE ON: Britney Spears , Madonna

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