Actress Hirosue Ryoko (24) is to make her first TV appearance since becoming a mother. She will appear on a segment of a Tunnels variety show special on December 23, a national holiday. The popular segment features two celebrities eating a variety of dishes and trying to guess which one their opponent hates, while at the same time trying to hide their own disgust. Hirosue’s opponent will be Olympic hammer gold medallist Murofushi Koji (30). Hirosue hasn’t appeared on TV since giving birth to her son Hiroshi in April. She married model-turned-designer Okazawa Takahiro (29) in December last year.
• Noda Yoshiharu (58), the founder and president of Yellow Cab talent agency, has quit to start another company. He will take with him several of the more mature stars he has groomed, including Hinagata Akiko, Yamada Maria and Megumi. Yellow Cab, which became famous in the last few years as a stable of busty female talento, will continue to represent such current stars as Koike Eiko and Sato Eriko.
• Duo m-flo have won the Best Asian Hip Hop artist award at a music video festival in Korea. As the country only lifted a ban on Japanese pop music this year, the award is the first of its kind to go to a Japanese artist. The duo is made up of Korean-born Verbal and DJ Taku, and they performed on stage with BoA, another Korean who has made it big in Japan.