Dan Gross: Go West,young Kristen Welker

Posted: August 19, 2010

CONGRATULATIONS to NBC 10 anchor/reporter Kristen Welker, who has signed a multiyear deal with NBC News to be a network correspondent on the West Coast.

Starting Aug. 30, Welker will report for "NBC Nightly News," "Today," and MSNBC. In June, the Germantown Friends and Harvard graduate went to Los Angeles to report for the network. She'll continue to be based in Burbank.

"I was just told that the network needed extra coverage over the summer and asked if I wanted to help out," Welker told us yesterday, when we asked if she knew that her L.A. assignment was a network audition. "During the two months I was there I covered everything from wildfires to the immigration debate in Arizona to celebrity news," said Welker, who grew up in Fairmount.

The daughter of real-estate agent Juliet Welker and engineer Harvey Welker says she's "going to miss Philadelphia and my NBC 10 family, but I am so thrilled to have this opportunity. This is something I have dreamed about since I was a child.

"Having said that, it was also a dream to work in Philadelphia for five years," she said. "I feel so incredibly lucky to have worked at NBC 10, where Chris Blackman has been more than a news

director to me; he's been a friend, and [NBC 10 President] Dennis Bianchi has been great to work for." Welker heads back to L.A. next week and plans to spend time with friends and family before she leaves.

Burrell returns to the Irish Pub

Pat Burrell brought Giants teammate Aubrey Huff to his longtime haunt the Irish Pub (20th & Walnut) after Tuesday's Phillies game. Pat the Bat and Huff had one drink each, says our spy.

Dutton back in town

Charles S. Dutton ("Roc," "Get on the Bus"), who shot "The Gift" in Southwest Philly last year, is back in town working on post-production with producers Steve Gordon and Terrance Glasgow, director J. Jesses Smith and screenwriter Ken Kushner. The crime/family drama also stars Jamie Hector, who played Marlo Stanfield on HBO's "The Wire."

Armstrong rides here

Cycling champ Lance Armstrong will be in the area this weekend to host the Livestrong Challenge, at Montgomery County Community College, in Blue Bell. The three-day event features 5K- and 10K-walk/run/rides on Saturday and Sunday. Former Phillies closer Mitch Williams kicks off the walk/run/ride at 7:30 Saturday morning. That night Armstrong speaks at the Fundraising Appreciation Dinner at the Crowne Plaza Valley Forge, where former Eagles linebacker Dhani Jones, now on the Bengals, delivers the keynote speech.

For a schedule of events, or for information on how to register for the walk/run, visit livestrong.org.

Our man in the movies

Daily News boxing writer Bernard Fernandez is just back from Pontiac, Mich., where he shot a scene for the movie "Real Steel" at the old Silverdome, former home of the Detroit Lions.

The film, about robots, stars Hugh Jackman, who Fernandez said is a nice guy. Once again Fernandez was typecast as a sports reporter. He previously worked on "Rocky Balboa" and "Play It to the Bone." On playing himself, Fernandez says, "I've had a lifetime of preparation."

We messed up. Twice.

"Louis," the silent film, accompanied by Wynton Marsalis and an 11-piece jazz ensemble, plays the Keswick Theatre, in Glenside, on Aug. 31. And Joe Conklin and Big Daddy Graham's Two Funny Guys show at the Borgata, in Atlantic City, will be Sept. 24. We got both dates wrong in yesterday's column.

Lights, camera, action, diapers

Congratulations to filmmaker Eric Moyer and girlfriend Allison Doran, a student, on the Aug. 9 birth of their daughter Michelle Grace Moyer. Moyer directed "A Halfway House Christmas," starring Robert Romanus, from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," and says he's preparing to shoot a film called "School Spirits" in the area.

Trina's frozen T-shirt

Pro wrestler-turned-porn-star Trina Michaels dances through Saturday at the World Famous Gold Club (1416 Chancellor) with a frozen T-shirt contest Friday.

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or e-mail grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit go.philly.com/dangross.

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