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Moore, Gibson and Roberts top People's Choice Awards

Story by: Jack Foley

MICHAEL Moore, Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts emerged as the public favourites of 2004 in America, following the announcement of the US People's Choice Awards.

Moore's controversial, anti-Bush documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, was named best film, while Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ won best drama, despite both films being snubbed by most of the major awards ceremonies thus far.

And Julia Roberts won her 10th consecutive crown as favourite female movie star, while Finding Neverland star, Johnny Depp, was favourite male.

Renee Zellweger was selected as favourite leading lady at the LA-based ceremoony on Sunday, January 9, 2005.

The nominees for the People's Choice Awards are picked by a 6,000-strong Entertainment Weekly magazine panel, with the winners being subsequently chosen by 21 million online voters.

Upon receiving the award, Michael Moore dedicated his trophy to soldiers in Iraq, before declaring the night 'an historic occasion' that a documentary had been named best film.

Moore, who continues to be highly critical of President George W Bush and the US-led invasion of Iraq, added: "This country is still all of ours, not right or left or Democrat or Republican."

Mel Gibson, meanwhile, said of his prize: "To me, really, this is the ultimate goal because one doesn't make work for the elite. To me, the people have spoken."

The Passion of the Christ director has vowed not to lobby for his film to be recognised among the nominations for any of the major awards ceremonies.

Of the other major award winners on the night, animated hit, Shrek 2, took three prizes, including top animated movie, top film comedy and top sequel.

While in TV, new Channel 4 hit, Desperate Housewives, was crowned top new drama, while Friends spin-off, Joey, starring Matt LeBlanc, was best new comedy.

Annual favourites, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Will and Grace took best TV drama and comedy respectively.

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