MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE star Tom Cruise was forced to beg the paparazzi to leave him alone when he was greeted by a bunch of photographers at a posh restaurant.

After taping a segment on comedian Jay Leno's chat show on Monday night (09AUG04), Cruise made his way to Beverly Hills, California, eatery Kate Mantilini.

On arrival, he was swarmed by photographers, and patiently smiled and posed for pictures twice.

But as the photographers waited for the opportunity to take more shots, Cruise pleaded, "Now listen guys, I'm going to get on a motorcycle right now. I've got to check it out, so do we got enough shots? Everybody can chill now?"

But the photographers persisted, following Cruise to his Ducati motorcycle. In his efforts to please, Cruise stopped two more times for pictures, signed a last autograph and then rode off.

While he was pursued on foot by some relentless photographers, the snappers honoured his request and didn't follow him in their cars.

12/08/2004 02:50