Diminuitive funny man Neko Hiroshi (29) is engaged to be married. During a press conference at his management agency last night the 147cm-tall comedian told reporters his new fiancee is the same age but 12cm taller. He said she works in social welfare. Real name Takizaki Kuniaki, he started out in comedy in 2001 using the name Tarantula. He went through dozens of name changes before settling on Neko (Cat) Hiroshi, despite the fact that he is allergic to cats. Needless to say, given his comedy image as a hyperactive feline, he described his fiancee as looking like a”Siamese cat”, and he proposed to her last autumn by asking her to “Please be my owner.” Her family were said to be unhappy about the fact that he performed topless and the pair even split up as a result. But he changed to wearing a t-shirt, they got back together, and now plan to get hitched within the year. Though the announcement only came yesterday, the couple actually got engaged on December 10, the same day as actress Fujiwara Norika (35) and comedian Jinnai Tomonori (32).
• Police have issued prosecution documents on singer Matsuzaki Shigeru (57) for causing a traffic accident while driving without a license. The perennially-tanned singer passed his driving test in the U.S. in 1989 and had been using an international license ever since. But due to a change in the law made in 2002, he was no longer legally entitled to do so. The accident happened last November, when he opened his car door only to knock a passing motorcyclist off his bike.
• Kansai TV has lost its 9pm Sunday slot on national TV following the recent scandal about faked data on its popular “Hakkutsu ! Aru Aru Daijiten” show. The slot, which earned the network about ¥3 billion in annual ad revenue, will be taken over by the Fuji network Systems production company.