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otr.. Off The Record; Mel's moody blues.

ACTRESS Melanie Griffith is driving her friends and family up the wall in her bid to give hubby Antonio Banderas a son.

The 43-year-old star is suffering from extreme mood swings brought on by her daily doses of the fertility drug Clomid.

And her Jekyll and Hyde antics are even pushing tough guy Antonio, 40, to the limit.

One friend said: "Melanie is cranky and very emotional. She's taking high doses of Clomid and it takes her on an emotional roller coaster ride. It has been difficult for her family and friends.

"One minute she's as sweet as sugar and the next a virtual Tazmanian Devil. Antonio is going through hell with her mood swings, but he gives her a lot of credit for going through all this pain and trouble just to have his child."

Mother-of-three Melanie already has a daughter, Stella, by Antonio. But while he dotes on the little girl, the Zorro star is also keen to have a son and she is desperate to make his dream come true.

The couple drew a blank after trying for 18 months, so Melanie sought the help of the fertility clinic at UCLA in Los Angeles.

Melanie, who married Antonio in 1996, said: "I believe motherhood and birth are the most fulfilling things a woman can do. That is much more important than any career in film I could ever have. It's a miracle each and every time it happens and I'll be so happy to be pregnant once more with the love of my life's child.

"I love Antonio more than anything and would love the privilege of giving him a son."

Melanie already has a daughter Dakota, 10, by Don Johnson and a son Alex, 16, by Steven Bauer.

One medical expert said: "Melanie had her last child three years ago so she is fertile. She just needs a little assistance."

Liz set to take on Lara

WATCH out Lara Croft - luscious Liz Hurley is ready to play a gorgeous computer game babe.

The sexy actress is being lined up to star as deadly Scottish special agent Cate Archer in No-one Lives Forever, a James Bond-style thriller which is based on a best-selling PC and Playstation 2 game.

Last night, a Hollywood insider revealed: " Liz has the script. She likes it - and studio executives are desperate for her to take the role."

U3 seem to be having a Beautiful Day out

ROCK stars are famous for outrageous demands on dressing room riders - the list of goodies they want left backstage.

Maybe it's because Bono is a bigger star than most that he got his very own Ryder - movie actress Winona.

The U2 frontman looked keen to get his teeth into the Dracula star, but her fellow Hollywood icon Kevin Spacey seemed intent on playing gooseberry.

The trio met backstage at American venue, the Farmclub, after the Irish supergroup launched the tour to promote their new album, All That You Can't Leave Behind.

It's the first album from the mega-selling band since 1997's disappointing Pop outing. However, Scottish fans will have to wait until next year at the earliest before catching their heroes in live action again.

The new tour is to be a back-to-basics rock 'n' roll venture after the massive stadium shows put on by the band on their last two tours.

The new album, which has already spawned a No.1 single, is released today.

Ben:Give my Calista a break

ACTOR Ben Stiller has spoken out in defence of ex-girlfriend Calista Flockhart over claims she is too thin.

Stiller, who dated the Ally McBeal star for three months, believes that his ex has a "supremely beautiful" body.

And he thinks critics should stop branding her anorexic.

He said: "Calista and I are still great friends, but I don't like to talk too much about her. It's a nightmare what she's had to deal with.

"All those rumours about her being underweight are trash. She's gorgeous."

Stiller broke off his romance with Calista when he fell for actress Christine Taylor, whom he married six months ago.

His current film, Meet The Parents, is currently the biggest grossing film in America.

He's Dane and out

SEXY Atomic Kitten singer Natasha Hamilton has dumped True Steppers hunk Dane Bowers - because she wasn't ready to commit to a long-term relationship.

After a brief fling, she has broken up with the former teen heart-throb who, until recently, dated supermodel Jordan.

Natasha says: "We went out a few times, but we're definitely not seeing each other any more."

She adds: "He's not the sort of person I could get serious about."

DOZY Britney Spears slept in and refused to sign autographs while rushing to get to her concert in Berlin at the weekend.

The teen queen of pop looked tired and ignored fans as she left her plush pounds 1700-a-night hotel suite.

But a few hours later, she had recovered sufficiently to delight those fans by belting out her hits and stripping down to a skimpy outfit.
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Author:Fulton, Rick
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 31, 2000
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