CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 28th January

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- RAJAR round up
- Glastonbury tackle touts with ID card
- Babyshambles drummer quits
- Razorlight cancel gig
- Artists add support to Grokster battle
- US fashion chain to launch charity album
- Album Review: A Guy called Gerald - To All Things What They Need
- Velvet Revolver video interview
- Cream reunite
- Others instore and tour
- Broadcasters line up to bid for Freeview channel
- Franz Ferdinand design charity rug
- Satellite radio coming to Europe?
- Album Review: Clutch - Blast Tyrant
- Unofficial Napster creator fined
- Channel 4 plan Bez reality show
- Marilyn Manson tour
- Clear Channel considering radio download service in US
- Robbie's ex: "fling ruined my life"
- Naomi Campbell refuses Usher cover offer

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VIGSY'S CLUB TIP : Afroarts at Vibe Bar
The Vibe gets a look in this week because they've got a night hosted by Afro Arts, the label formerly owned by Ashley Beedle (he lost it during his divorce), and now run by Paul Murphy. Mr Murphy will be mixing up soul, funk, jazz and all other manner of gems in a kind housey fashion, alongside one Winston Hazel. The Vibe has got a large Marquee out back and the place was totally mobbed just before Xmas, and given the buzz surrounding Afro Arts of late (they ran a great room at Fabric at the end of 2004), this should be a good 'un.

Fri 28 Jan, Vibe Bar, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL, free before 8 - £3.50 after, more info at http://www.vibe-bar.co.uk/

Think your club is good enough to take the tip?? Then email vigsy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk, but you must include the date of your club event in the header.

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RAJAR ROUND UP
Is it just me, or does it feel like the RAJARs come round every couple of weeks these days? Anyway, another set of the official radio listening figures were unleashed yesterday giving radio PR's that quarterly task of finding a positive spin on another slide in audience share, and offering dull media types the opportunity to participate in some pointless over-analysis. Here's ours.

And it was another good RAJAR day for the nation's real favourite, BBC Radio 2. It scored a record overall share of listening in the last quarter, plus Terry Wogan's breakfast show pulled in over 8 million listeners for the first time. Well done him. Happy faces elsewhere at the Beeb with Chris Moyles adding another 150,000 listeners to the Radio 1 breakfast show (that's an increase of 800,000 since he replaced the terrible Sara Cox a year ago), and in the digital domain 6Music increased its audience by 4.4% while the Asian Network pulled in more than half a million listeners for the first time. So well done everyone. Except Nicky Campbell and Shelagh Fogarty whose Radio 5 breakfast show lost 400,000 listeners in the last quarter. Perhaps they all realised what a smug git Campbell is. Then again, being a smug git doesn't seem to have done Chris Moyles any harm. Commenting on the Corporation's overall good performance, the BBC's director of radio told reporters: "Today's strong figures mark the end of an excellent year for BBC Radio", adding that Wogan's performances was "simply awesome", and that "I am particularly pleased to see the Asian Network top the half million mark.".

What about the commercial radio world? Well, Virgin Radio's audience in London and nationally was down last quarter, though up 43,000 on the previous year, while the company's digital stations - Classic Rock and Radio Groove - measured by RAJAR for the first time, had 239,000 listeners between them, which everyone seems to think is good.

At Capital, smiling faces also after a run of bad RAJAR results in recent years. Despite ever increasing competition and a decline in overall audience during 2004 of 11%, Capital's main station, Capital FM, maintained its all important 'biggest in London' title in both audience reach and share. More importantly the Johnny Vaughan breakfast show saw a rise in listening figures for the first time since its launch last Apr. While Vaughan's audience is still some 239,000 down on that enjoyed by predecessor Chris Tarrant, the fact listening figures went up 83,000 in the last quarter will please Capital bosses and their cautious share holders. Capital boss Keith Pringle told reporters: "Our mantra was that it takes 18 months to launch a breakfast show and, halfway through, we're on track."

Elsewhere in the Capital group some other good news. Xfm saw a slight dip in its London listening figures, but with its national reach via digital it enjoyed its highest ever audience of 693,000 listeners, while breakfast, drive time and the Jimmy Carr weekend show all enjoyed record highs. Meanwhile Choice FM, which became part of the Capital group proper last Mar, enjoyed its highest ever audience figure of 475,000.

Smiling faces also among Capital's merger buddies, GWR, mainly because Classic FM is still a big success story, it being the UK's biggest commercial station - Simon Bates' breakfast show increased its audience by 61,000 listeners in the last quarter, plus the number of 15-44 year old listeners was up 8%.

The biggest smiles, though, were probably over at EMAP. Not because their Birmingham based Kerrang! station saw a 17% rise in listeners, nor because London's Kiss station remained the most popular station with the capital's under-24s, but because the London bit of its Magic franchise overtook Chrysalis' Heart 106.2 in becoming the second most listened to commercial station in London. Although Capital and Heart both have more listeners than Magic, people listen to the EMAP station for longer, meaning it now has more 'listening hours' than Heart, and is not that far off having more listening hours than Capital. A spokesman for Magic, rarely previously considered a contender for the 'biggest in London crown', told reporters yesterday: "We are 0.1% away from being the most listened-to station in London and it's down to our consistent marketing and programming, pushing our 'more music, less talk' proposition".

Commenting on Magic's success in comparison with Capital and Heart, Malcolm Morgan of investment firm told the Guardian: "Capital and Heart have spent so much time looking at each other they have missed a trick - Magic - which has snuck up on the rails". Capital boss Pringle, while acknowledging Magic was now a real competitor, seemed quite pleased with EMAP's successes, seeing Magic as a much bigger competitor to his rival Heart than to his own stations: "The Magic figure is fascinating for us. It adds an interesting competition to the London radio market. Heart were trying to be number one and they lost focus. Magic took Heart's slogan, music and now their listeners. I don't see that we're in direct competition with Magic and we're certainly not going to change what we do."

Chrysalis' share price took a tumble after Heart's latest RAJAR performance was announced, with commentators saying the radio group had become complacent after its recent successes against Capital. Needless to say, Chrysalis boss Phil Riley but a positive spin on the whole thing: "Hats off to Magic, they've had a great quarter. But we are pleased to remain number two by reach. The gap between the leading three in London in terms of total hours is very slim." Riley also admitted Chrysalis had made mistakes in the way it has marketed talk station LBC since it acquired it back in 2003, meaning the station's audience figures weren't as high as hoped: "There aren't enough people finding [LBC]. We've been thinking about the need to get the marketing on more of a consistent and reliable basis. We have had a couple of false starts: The TV advertising we did with Nick Ferrari was too complex and he wasn't as famous as he needs to be for TV ads. It was an error we've learned from. The outdoor and tube advertising we have now is much more in line with what the station stands for. I am convinced the market is there."

The bad RAJARs at Chrysalis follow an announcement earlier this week that radio revenues for the first half of its financial year were down by 3%. All of which leads to speculation Chrysalis is a hot contender for takeover as the radio industry goes into an expected merger frenzy later this year, with investors suggesting some kind of merger with the Guardian Media Group, who own a number of radio stations including Jazz FM and Real Radio, might be on the cards. However, others reckon Chrysalis' owners won't let themselves get pushed into a merger they don't want - with some saying they might look to expand their way out a crisis, perhaps by buying Virgin Radio off the Scottish Media Group. Whatever, interesting times ahead.

Anyway - too much RAJAR nonsense for one sitting. Don't forget folks - the RAJAR figures are fundamentally flawed with such big margins of error that half of what we think we know about people's radio listening habits is probably rubbish anyway.

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GLASTONBURY TACKLE TOUTS WITH ID CARD
With all that extra time on his hands, perhaps David Blunkett should go to the Glastonbury Festival this year. He might not approve of the rowdy behaviour, massive drugs consumption and mega noise pollution, but he'd like one thing - it's the one place in Britain that already has ID cards.

Yep, this year Glasto bosses will issue photo ID cards with every ticket sold in a new bid to beat ticket touts. Of course, Glastonbury's organisers have been fighting the unofficial sale of tickets to their event for several years now, initially to tackle the problem of forged tickets, and more recently to ensure music fans aren't ripped off by touts charging inflated prices.

Last year the festival insisted each ticket holder showed some kind of ID (generally a utility bill) when they swapped their tickets for an access pass. But touts overcame that measure by offering fake IDs with the tickets they sold. To respond to that, this year the festival will distribute its own photo ID cards with every ticket carrying a photo of the ticket holder and an electronic chip containing details about the rightful owner of the ticket which, in theory, an unofficial holder of the ticket wouldn't know.

Announcing the new scheme Glastonbury man Michael Eavis told reporters yesterday: "There is only one place in the world where you will be able to get tickets. That will be the official source. If you get them anywhere else, you won't get in."

All that said, it is likely ticket holders will be able to opt to bring a valid passport or photocard drivers licence instead of getting a Glastonbury ID card if they so wish - however there will be no excuses for any ticket holder who forgets their ID.

While we're on Glasto, latest line up rumours reckon U2 and Coldplay could be among the headliners.

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BABYSHAMBLES DRUMMER QUITS
You'd be forgiven for thinking that Babyshambles was just Pete Doherty's solo outfit with some session musicians - but no, it's a proper band. And it's a band without a drummer at the moment because, according to the NME, one of its members, Gemma Clarke, has walked. NME reckons Clarke's departure from the band has been likely ever since her drum kit was destroyed after angry fans invaded the stage at last month's Astoria gig after another Doherty no show.

In a statement released yesterday the band said: "As of today, Gemma has been replaced by Adam Ficek (ex White Sport) as drummer of Babyshambles. The first gig with the new line up will be in February - we'll let you know full details soon." That gig is likely to be the scheduled date at the Brixton Academy on 22 Feb - we're now taking bets on whether the loved-up allegedly cleansed Doherty will show - 3:1 against.

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RAZORLIGHT CANCEL GIG
Talking of gigs not going ahead, Razorlight have cancelled an LA date, though they have an OK excuse - lead singer Johnny Borrell aint feeling too good. A message on the box office voicemail for the El Rey Theatre, where they were due to play the sold out gig, said: "Terrible news for all Razorlight fans, I just got the word that the lead singer is sick so the show has been postponed. We're hoping for a Mar or Apr date so hold on to your tickets they will be good at the postponed date."

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ARTISTS ADD SUPPORT TO GROKSTER BATTLE
Hot on the heels of that 'friend of the court' action signed by key industry associations from across the global entertainments industry in support of film studios MGM in their legal fight against P2P company Grokster, now 54 prominent recording artists have put weight behind the campaign to persuade the American Supreme Court to hold the key P2P firms liable for the copyright violation their technology allows.

As previously reported - a lot - those companies continually make the so called 'Betamax plea' when accused of liability for copyright theft - that is to say, because their software does have legitimate use, they cannot be held liable if the public then choose to use it for illegal file sharing (unlike the original Napster, newer P2P networks have no central database of files being shared, so the P2P creator does not know what files are traveling across the network their software created).

The courts, and most recently the ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the MGM / Grokster case, have generally accepted that plea. However the entertainments industry hope to have one last stab at persuading the courts to turn down that plea when that case reaches the Supreme Court this Spring.

Adding their support to that bid in another 'friend of the court' statement organised by America's National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and the Recording Artists' Coalition were, among others, the Eagles, Jimmy Buffett, Gavin Rossdale, Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, the Dixie Chicks, Stevie Nicks, Reba McEntire, Avril Lavigne, Dido, Tom Jones, Diana Krall, Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson and members of Barenaked Ladies.

It remains to be seen if such high level support can change the court's viewpoint - many reckon only by Congress changing the law can the Betamax plea be overruled.

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US FASHION CHAIN TO LAUNCH CHARITY ALBUM
American fashion retailer Urban Outfitters has been busy putting together a charity compilation album in aid of UNICEF's post-tsunami relief effort - and such was the response to their request for bands to donate tracks that they've decided to make it a double album. The charity album, featuring rarities from all sorts of CMU favourites - including Franz Ferdinand, Hot Hot Heat, Grandaddy, Mercury Rev and Futureheads - will be sold through the fashion chain's stores from 28 Feb. No word on whether it'll get any kind of UK release, but you'll be hoping it does given the line up:

Disc One:
Death Cab For Cutie - Love Song
Interpol - Slow Hands (Britt Daniel mix),
Bright Eyes - We Are Nowhere and It's Now
Desert Sessions 7/8 - Hangin' Tree
Wilco - Jesus, Etc. (live),
Hot Hot Heat - Apt. 101
French Kicks - The Trial of the Century (live)
Futureheads - Piece of Crap (live)
My Morning Jacket - The Bear (live)
Magnet - Heaviest Heart
Rilo Kiley - American Wife
Elbow - Fugitive Motel (RDJ2 mix)
Clinic - Fingers
Mercury Rev - In a Funny Way

Disc Two:
Franz Ferdinand - Matinee (Headman remix)
The Go! Team - Huddle Formation (radio session)
Grandaddy - Nacher Anthem
Kaiser Chiefs - Take My Temperature
Earlimart - Lullaby
The Faint - I Disappear
Caribou - Barnowl
Eisley - Lost at Sea (remix)
Dios - Everyday
Juana Molina - Isabel
Adam Arcuragi - The Song the Sinner Sings
M83 - A Guitar and a Heart

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ALBUM REVIEW: A Guy called Gerald - To All Things What They Need (K7)
Some facts. Gerald Simpson is a legend. He helped create 808 State's astounding 'Pacific'. He produced perhaps the first ever d and b album - 'Black Secret Technology'. And 'Voodoo Ray' is one of the best tunes ever cut. His last album for K7, 'Essence', was a multifaceted album that was highly underrated. Alas I fear the same fate is likely with 'To All Things What They Need', which is far more conceptual and therefore less accessible. But it is still a good long player, highlights including 'American Cars' and its floating cinematics, 'To Love' and its future breaks, 'First Try' - a house-feel cut of the 808 era, 'Strangest Changes', a breakbeat track with vocals from Finley Quaye, and 'Call for Prayer', which comes complete with Eastern influences and a Maggie Thatcher sample. There are some weaker tunes too and, like I say, it's pretty conceptual - but still worth checking out, if only to get inside Simpson's very clever head. PV
Release date: 25 Jan
Press contact: Shilland [all]

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VELVET REVOLVER VIDEO INTERVIEW
Our friends over at Clickmusic.com have just put live an exclusive video interview with Slash and Duff from Velvet Revolver filmed before their Sunday night show at the Hammersmith. The duo discuss how the new band came together, how the rage still flows, new music, old music and their work with Sharon Osbourne on the Tsunami Appeal single, a cover of Eric Clapton's 'Tears in Heaven'. It's good - go see.

You can watch the video here: http://test.clickmusic.co.uk/Clickmusic_ Web_Guide /Bands_and_Artists/V/Velvet_Revolver/Vr06

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CREAM REUNITE
What do you mean a Cream reunion? - when did they split up? - why, I was at their Boxing Day party just last month! No, not that Cream. Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce will be performing under the Cream banner again for the first time since 1968 this May with four dates at the Royal Albert Hall (2, 3, 5 and 6 May). Tickets are already on sale - a bargain at £50, £75 or £125 each.

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OTHERS INSTORE AND TOUR
A bit more reasonably priced is the upcoming tour from buzz band The Others (though, admittedly, they're not playing the Albert Hall), and if you're too stingy to pay anything to see your favourite bands play, then they will be playing free live sets at two in-stores next week - at the London Oxford Street branch of Virgin Megastore on Monday at 6pm, and at the Liverpool Church Street branch of HMV on Tue at 5pm.

Meanwhile, that tour looks a bit like this:

8 Feb: Brighton Concorde 2
10 Feb: Nottingham Rock City (Basement)
11 Feb: Liverpool University
12 Feb: Glasgow G2
13 Feb: London Astoria (NME show)

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BROADCASTERS LINE UP TO BID FOR FREEVIEW CHANNEL
More or less every major commercial broadcaster is expected to put in a bid for a new channel that has become available on the Freeview network. The slot is owned by Crown Castle, one of the companies who created Freeview with the BBC after the collapse of ITV Digital. They own two of the terrestrial digital muliplexes, and with some clever compression technology have managed to squeeze out the capacity for another 18-hour-a-day channel.

When Freeview first sold off channel space broadcasters were paying about a million quid for the privilege to broadcast via the network. However, such has been the success of Freeview, the new channel, which will go to the highest bidder, is expected to fetch in excess of £4.5 - £5 million. ITV, Channel 4, Five, Universal, Turner and Disney are all expected to submit sealed bids to Crown Castle on Monday.

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FRANZ FERDINAND DESIGN CHARITY RUG
Former Glasgow School Of Art students Franz Ferdinand are among the celebs designing a special rug in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. The band were asked to design a rug that they felt reflected their career to date. The rug will be made by a company called Deirdre Dyson Handmade Carpets who will then sell it - as well as rugs designed by the likes of actor Richard E Grant, weathergirl Sian Lloyd and her partner, Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik, in aid of the hospital.

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SATELLITE RADIO COMING TO EUROPE?
With satellite radio companies Sirius and XM seemingly doing well in the US (in terms of growing audience if not profits), word is that plans are under way to launch a satellite radio network in Europe, which would compete with the growing terrestrial digital radio sector in the UK. SES Global, a big satellite communications player, is reportedly in talks with French tel-co Alcatel about the possibility of launching such a network.

That would mean a framework giving consumers who bought the relevant kit access to hundreds of radio stations, and a network which could broadcast the kind of programmes and music not currently allowed by strict radio regulations (in the US because access to the satellite networks is by subscription, the FCC's strict rules of 'decency' don't apply - hence why Howard Stern and Eminem have opted to present shows on satellite stations).

There are issues of course - in particular, would the service be pan-European or, like with satellite TV, split in such a way that each country gets its own service? Plus, will people already receiving radio services via their Sky satellite service, be willing to splash out on a separate satellite radio system?

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ALBUM REVIEW: Clutch - Blast Tyrant (DRT Entertainment)
You listen to this and think, "wicked, I like this, cool". But then you have to write about it, and you think, "erm. It sounds likeÖ erm, a bit like, no no no, it's like a cross between, erm, that band with the, ermÖ and erm". And so on and so on. Sure it's hard rock, but it's so much more than that as well. Sure it sounds like Led Zeppelin in places, and Hawkwind in others, but then you can make Captain Beefheart, ZZ Top, Kyuss, Billy Squire and a load of other ludicrously disparate comparisons too. In places it's funky, in others it's just feedback. Sometimes it's heavy and southern, then it's light with South American percussion. It's a totally varied album: a million different guitar voices - happy, sad - tempos all over the shop, complicated epics, punky three chorders. And it's not a case of not being able to decide. This five headed rock monster knows what it is and knows what it's doing.
Just don't ask me to describe it. Just get yourself a copy. Do me that much, yeh?JG
Release date: 31 Jan
Press contact: Pure Press [all]

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UNOFFICIAL NAPSTER CREATOR FINED
The Norwegian computer engineering student who created a long closed down website called Napster.no, which gave a directory of links to free MP3 versions of copyrighted music, has been fined 100,000 kroner (£8400) by the Supreme Court for copyright violation. The site itself was closed down in Nov 2001, but its creator fought a long legal battle maintaining his innocence on the grounds he didn't actually host the free MP3s on his server, rather he provided links to other servers hosting the free music supplies. Ultimately the courts didn't accept that plea.

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CHANNEL 4 PLAN BEZ REALITY SHOW
Well, when we said Blazin Squad's Kenzie would probably get the biggest career boost out of Celeb BB, perhaps we were wrong. According to Brand Republic, Channel 4 hope to cash in on the popularity of Big Bro winner Bez by building an Osbourne's style reality show around the former Happy Monday's dancer which would include regular cameos from former band mates Sean Ryder and X Factor finalist Rowetta.

Meanwhile Bez has been talking to the Manchester Evening News about his new found celebrity. Confirming he plans to spend his cash prize from the show to settle existing bankruptcy debts (copies of Bez's bankruptcy papers having being doing the rounds of the chat rooms since his Celeb BB win), he also admitted that he went on a 24 hour bender after winning the show, causing him to miss an appearance on 'Richard & Judy': "I have places in London where nobody will ever find me. There were some of my friends from Manchester, including Rowetta, and some of the Blazin' Squad, and we stayed up all night until 10am on Monday. We had some record decks and a DJ. It was even better than the old days."

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MARILYN MANSON TOUR
Marilyn Manson has announced a string of Asia and Europe tour dates for next month and later in the summer, although details of planned UK gigs are yet to be announced. The tour schedule so far announced as follows:

2 Feb: Seoul Olympic Hall
5 Feb: Osaka Sonicmania Festival
6 Feb: Tokyo Sonicmania Festival
9 Feb: Mexico City Palacio De Los Deportes
27 May: Madrid Festimad
29 May: Lisbon Super Bock Super Rock
2 Jun: Amsterdam Heineken Music Hall
4 Jun: Nurburgring Rock Am Ring
5 Jun: Nurnberg Rock Im Park.
7 Jun: Milan Mazda Palace
8 Jun: Basel St. Jacobshalle
10 Jun: Vienna Nova Rock Festival
11 Jun: Dresden Woodstage Festival
16 Jun: Hultsfred Hultsfred Festival

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CLEAR CHANNEL CONSIDERING RADIO DOWNLOAD SERVICE IN US
Word is Clear Channel's US radio business is planning on launching a digital download platform somehow linked to its digital radio output - i.e., you'll be able to opt to download tracks as you hear them being played on the radio. That concept has been developed by others in the radio space, though if Clear Channel launch such a project it would take the service to a much bigger audience.

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ROBBIE'S EX: "FLING RUINED MY LIFE"
It's end of week gossip time - hurrah! The single mum of two who dated Robbie Williams for a while last year has said the fling has ruined her life. The Sun reports that probation officer Lisa Brash has been off sick from her job since being dumped by Robbie late last year - she is on anti-depressants, her 13 year old son is being bullied at school and jealous fans have scratched her car.

Brash told the paper: "I did love him. I fell for him. I thought I'd end up with Rob. He was fascinated by my job. Then he said, "Will you come to my room? I really enjoyed talking to you'. He called all week, about three times a day, saying 'I'm just checking in'." When the fling became public she says Williams texted her saying "Be strong my supermum darling", but soon he started ignoring her calls leaving her distraught. Lisa: "He won't speak to me any more."

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NAOMI CAMPBELL REFUSES USHER COVER OFFER
Naomi Campbell has reportedly refused to pose with ex-boyfriend Usher for a Vogue For Men cover shoot, insisting, instead, that she is photographed with long time friend Sean 'P Diddy' Combs. According to the Times Campbell was outraged when the magazine suggested the cover shoot following her split from Usher last month. Her spokesman wouldn't be drawn on whether or not the Usher cover had been suggested, saying simply: "It was one of those things. Naomi was offered the cover. Puffy had been offered another cover. They are great friends, were talking the other day and, hey presto, decided to have some fun and do it together."

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