CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 13th October

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- John Peel day kicks off
- New music website launched in Peel's memory
- Kershaw: "Peel wouldn't like Peel day"
- Apple launch video iPod
- Apple profits up again
- Clear Channel start post-payola clear out
- More SonyBMG Lack rumours
- Franz add extra date to tour
- Mono Taxi dates
- Rasmus live dates
- Get your Gorillaz accreditation now
- ITV & C4 join Freeview consortium
- ITV might drop news channel from Freeview
- Xfm to bid for north east licence
- Infinity sign up Van Halen man to replace Stern
- Single review: Littl'ans feat. Peter Doherty - Their Way
- Flaming Lips finish movie
- Former Belle signs solo deal
- Billy Joel attempted suicide revealed
- Jacko mobbed in London again
- Busted boy spends weekend with Jacko
- Son Of Dork join Poll Winners Party line up
- Noel Gallagher says modern bands are rubbish
- Wolfman joins Babyshambles on stage
- Midge Ure gets honorary degree
- Coogan admits fling with Love

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THE TOP BIT

WIN A VIP TRIP TO THE ICELAND AIRWAVES FESTIVAL
From 19-23 October the annual Iceland Airwaves Festival takes over Reykjavik with a great programme of international bands ranging from hip hop heavies The Mitchell Brothers to hard-rocking Juliette & The Licks joining dozens of Icelandic artists, including the legendary Gus Gus and quirky electro poppers Bang Gang. London Now has teamed up with Icelandair to offer a lucky winner a once-in-a-lifetime trip for two to the Iceland Airwaves Festival. This terrific prize includes round-trip airfare to Reykjavik, four nights accommodation, plus hotel transfers, and of course a VIP pass to the Festival! To be in with a chance of winning it click the London Now button at http://www.virgindigital.com

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JOHN PEEL DAY KICKS OFF
So, we trust that you media types out there will be opening a jiffy bag at random this morning and giving whatever is inside priority listen. Any A&Rs reading this, we hope, will be taking demo CDs that would normally get tossed into the bin unlistened to, and will be transferring the tracks on them to their iPods. And you rest of you should go to you local independent record shop and purchase whatever the man behind the counter might recommend. That, surely, would be the best way for us all to remember the late great John Peel. Half of us would end up listening to a pile of rubbish, of course, but some of us might discover some superb new music talent of which we would otherwise be unaware, and that would be a great thing.

Anyway, welcome to the first John Peel Day, the Radio 1 organised tribute to their greatest ever presenter, just ahead of the first anniversary of his sad and sudden death. As previously reported, more than 300 concerts will take place around the world today as part of the celebrations, with events as far afield as New Zealand, Italy and Canada all planned. It all kicked off last night at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall where some of Peel's favourite artists, including New Order, The Fall and Super Furry Animals, played at a special tribute concert. Radio 1 will broadcast a host of special programming today, kicking off tonight at 7pm (though Colin Murray and the tedious Edith Bowman are presenting the first two hours, so perhaps you want to tune in at 9pm). Other Peel based programmes are then planned for the coming weeks, including a special documentary, 'Keeping It Peel', on 17 Oct, and a series of shows on digital station 6Music from 24 Oct. Plus of course, there's that Peel tribute single in the pipeline, and the Warner released tribute album out on Monday.

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NEW MUSIC WEBSITE LAUNCHED IN PEEL'S MEMORY
John Peel Day is also being used to announce an interesting new venture from Peel's iconic record label Dandelion Records and Universal Music - a new music website called, simply, http://www.johnpeelmusic.com. Devoted to discovering and championing great new music, this site will be supervised by John's son, Tom Ravenscroft, who will work alongside Peel's long time agent Clive Selwood, a former director of Dandelion Records as well as Elektra, CBS, Pye and UK Records. New musical talent will be encouraged to upload their music to the site, while music fans will be asked to rate the music posted. Selwood explains: "For 30-odd years John was the point of reference for the best new cutting edge talent and now there's no real replacement. The ethos behind this site is to fill that void and in turn reveal the next generation of recording stars." Confirming their involvement in the project, Universal boss Lucian Grainge told CMU: "When I was starting out in the business as an A&R scout, I played John Peel's show in my Mini virtually every night. It is terrific to play a part in continuing the legacy of someone who influenced the careers of so many artists, as well as the A&R community."

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KERSHAW: "PEEL WOULDN'T LIKE PEEL DAY"
Finally in John Peel related news, former Radio 1 DJ Andy Kershaw has again had a dig at his former employer, this time in relation to their John Peel Day proceedings. He has told reporters that John wouldn't have appreciated the fact that the flagship components of the day are based around established artists that Peel championed, rather than the newer artists he would be championing now if he was still alive.

Kershaw: "John wouldn't have liked it. He'd think it was maudlin. He would also object on the grounds it was nostalgia-driven. He'd think we ought to spend less time doing stuff like this, and more time ploughing through stacks of records looking for the next new band". Kershaw, of course, caused a little controversy around the time of Peel's death when he blamed Radio 1 for contributing to the DJ's ill health by shifting his radio show into a later time slot. He told Channel 4 News: "I said to him [that] he didn't look too good. And he said, 'No, I feel terrible.' He had been diagnosed diabetic a couple of years ago, and he was also finding it really hard that Radio 1 had moved him even later into the night. Marginalised is the correct word. [It] pushed him from 11pm to one o'clock in the morning and he actually said, 'It's killing me.'" Asked about those comments this week Kershaw said "I'm not going to go down that road again", but added: "It's all on public record. I don't retract a word of what I said because I was merely reporting what he said to me."

Radio 1 live events boss Jason Carter, who is coordinating Peel Day, again denied that there was any tension between the DJ and the station in the months before his death. Carter: "There was no suggestion from Peel's people that he was unhappy with the new time slot at all. I know the controller of Radio 1 sat down with him personally to discuss it. So far as I know he was perfectly happy about it."

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APPLE LAUNCH VIDEO IPOD
Despite last minute rumours to the contrary, Apple did, in fact, use yesterday's pre-planned press conference to launch a video version of its iPod. The new player, which launches in the US next week, will come with more capacity and a bigger screen, but is actually thinner than the original Apple player. The video players will come with 30GB or 60GB of memory which, Apple say, will hold about 75 and 150 hours of video content respectively. They will retail for $299 and $399.

Of course owners of the new players will need video content to fill them with, so Apple also announced they will be making 2000 music videos available to download via the iTunes store for $1.99 each. The computer firm also said it had made a deal with US TV company ABC and would be making episodes of the network's shows available for download at $1.99 per episode, though there was no word on when that particular service would go live.

The video iPod sees Apple reassert itself at the top end of the digital media player market. Most of the companies recent releases have been cheaper models like the Shuffle, Mini and Nano, leading some to speculate on the future of the original more expensive iPod. The video device is sure to take over from the original device, able to demand the higher unit price thanks to the video functionality.

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APPLE PROFITS UP AGAIN
Elsewhere in Apple news, the IT firm confirmed this week that the iPod is still helping it maintain its recent financial good fortunes. Quarterly profits to the end of September were up four times on the same period in 2004 - up from $106million to $430million, which is quite a lot. Though, it would seem, not enough. City types had, in fact, expected an even bigger increase in revenue and profits in the last quarter so, despite Apple having its most successful year to date thanks to the ever powerful iPod, shares in the company fell 10% after the profit increase announcement. Some analysts blamed the problems surrounding the launch of the iPod nano for the shortfall in profit expectations.

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CLEAR CHANNEL START POST-PAYOLA CLEAR OUT
Clear Channel's US radio bit has started kicking people out of the door as part of its investigations into those much reported payola scandals. As you'll all surely remember, the spotlight fell on payola in the US radio promotions sector after an investigation was launched into dodgy practices by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer - an investigation that led to an admission of such practices by SonyBMG.

Clear Channel launched their own internal investigation into payola earlier this year, and WWPR New York programme director Michael Saunders and KHTS San Diefo boss Diana Laird are the first two casualties. Both have been axed with immediate effect. As far as we can make out, both PDs were accused of accepting gifts as bribes from Sony record labels, the gifts being handed over in the guise of competition prizes. In Laird's case it was arranged for one of her friends to win the prize, while in Saunders case the prize was sent to the radio station c/o the PDs own address, with one Sony promo exec noting in an internal email "can we say we are sending to the radio station but use Mike's address. b/c a lot of stuff gets lost when you send to station...Wink wink."

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MORE SONYBMG LACK RUMOURS
Oh yes, more rumours surrounding the future of Andy Lack at the top of SonyBMG. US website HitsDailyDouble notes that, while Sony Corp boss Howard Stringer has spoken out in support of Lack following the New York Times article that dissed the record company chief, no senior player at the label itself has gone on record as supporting their top man. Meanwhile rumours from inside the major suggest that Michael Smellie, the former BMG exec who is due to step down as SonyBMG COO at the end of the year, is operating like a man who plans to be around for the long haul. Some gossipers say they now reckon it is Lack who will be out of his SonyBMG post by the end of the year. They reckon former BMG boss Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, chairman of the board of the merged company, will then take on the chief executive role, working alongside Smellie to pursue a BMG-style decentralization agenda at the major. Interesting times could be ahead.

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FRANZ ADD EXTRA DATE TO TOUR
Franz Ferdinand have announced that they will play a fourth date at Alexandra Place, after all three of the previously planned dates sold out. Tickets for that show go on sale tomorrow at 9am. And just in case you're not wise to what dates Franz Ferdinand are playing when and where, here's a list for you. A lot are sold out already though. Here they are:

14 Nov: Cardiff Arena
15 Nov: Brighton Centre - SOLD OUT
16 Nov: Birmingham NEC
21 Nov: Aberdeen AECC - SOLD OUT
22 Nov: Glasgow SECC - SOLD OUT
23 Nov: Glasgow SECC
25 Nov: Hull Ice Arena - SOLD OUT
26 Nov: Manchester MEN Arena
27 Nov: Newcastle Arena
28 Nov: Nottingham Arena
30 Nov: London Alexandra Palace - SOLD OUT
1 Nov: London Alexandra Palace - SOLD OUT
2 Nov: London Alexandra Palace - SOLD OUT
3 Nov: London Alexandra Palace

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MONO TAXI DATES
New Pias 7" label Play It Again releases its first single, Mono Taxi's 'Kind Of Better', on 24 Oct. The half French half English band will play a series of UK live dates to promote the release, as follows:

11 Oct: Huddersfield Club NME @ TOKYO - with The Far Cries
12 Oct: Leeds The Warehouse - with The Far Cries
13 Oct: Leicester The Attik - John Peel Day, also feat. Lacosai, Rod New Car, Airhammer
14 Oct: Liverpool Evol Club - with Ladytron [DJ] & Stinkmitt
15 Oct: Hull Welly Club - with The Morphines
18 Oct: London 100 Club - with Viva Voce & Tunng
4 Nov: London ULU Live - with Youth of Britain + Captain + The View
19 Nov: Lancaster Library with The Guilty Pleasures
25 Nov: London Death Disco, Borderline,

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RASMUS LIVE DATES
The Rasmus have announced a series of UK tour dates. Their second album was released on 12 Sep, just in case you missed that. I know I did.

23 Oct: Brighton Concorde 2
24 Oct: London Astoria
26 Oct: Manchester Academy
27 Oct: Glasgow Garage
28 Oct: Nottingham Rock City

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GET YOUR GORILLAZ ACCREDITATION NOW
As previously reported, Gorillaz are to play 'Demon Days' in its entirety for five nights only at the Manchester Opera House this November as part of the launch of the Manchester International Festival. You may also know that special guests include Shaun Ryder, Roots Manuva and De La Soul.

Anyway, you knew that, this is an update for you media types. If you are looking for press accreditation for the event go to http://www.manchesterinternationalfestival.com/media to sign up. Yes. It's quite simple. The festival's press office say they'll do their best to accommodate everyone, but there are a limited number of tickets for each performance, so get your requests in quick, if you haven't already.

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ITV & C4 JOIN FREEVIEW CONSORTIUM
ITV and Channel 4 have both joined the Freeview consortium as equal shareholders. As you all surely remember, Freeview was set up by the BBC in partnership with BSkyB and techie firm Crown Castle after the embarrassing debacle that was ITV's attempts at a terrestrial digital service. While Freeview was obligated to take ITV and Channel 4's stations, and presumably wouldn't be a viable platform without them, the two commercial broadcasters have had no role in the strategic development of the digital operation to date. That will now change.

Confirming the new arrangement, Freeview chairman Peter Abery told repoters: "We're delighted to welcome ITV and Channel 4 to the consortium at a time when the Freeview service continues to go from strength to strength. ITV and Channel 4's involvement, both from a strategic and financial point of view, will further enable us to raise awareness of the Freeview service as we continue to drive digital terrestrial take-up in the UK. With the addition of more channels, including ITV4, More4 and Sky3 soon to be joining Freeview, the service offers an exciting channel line up for consumers looking to get digital TV."

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ITV MIGHT DROP NEWS CHANNEL FROM FREEVIEW
Despite gaining a strategic role in the operation, ITV will still only have five slots on the Freeview network, which is going to be a problem when ITV4 launches next month - the broadcaster is already using all five slots for ITV1, ITV2, ITV3, ITV News and Men & Motors. It was thought that Men & Motors would be dropped from Freeview because it targets a similar audience to ITV4, but it now appears it might be the group's news channel that is axed from free to air digital because it is the least profitable. Deciding which channel should go will prove tricky for the commercial broadcaster - shareholders will want a decision based on maximizing profits, but picking a lads channel over a news service will further damage ITV's claims to still be a public service broadcaster.

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XFM TO BID FOR NORTH EAST LICENCE
Following their successful bid to broadcast to Manchester, Xfm are now reportedly keen to reach a new audience in the North East. The GCap owned station is planning a broadcast a two week North East version of the station via digital and the web to provide a pilot for a bid to win the full time analogue licence that is currently up for grabs in the Tyne & Wear and Teeside area. Applications for that licence need to be with OfCom by 8 Dec.

Commenting on their North East ambitions, Xfm business development director Graham Hodge told reporters: "The North East is an unbelievably exciting place to be at the moment. Culture-led regeneration is taking place everywhere you look. Great bands are springing up all over the region. New venues like Sage Gateshead and the Newcastle Academy, and festivals like Evolution and Middlesbrough Music Live, reflect a thriving live scene. All that's missing is a radio station that will support all this for the long term. That radio station is Xfm."

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INFINITY SIGN UP VAN HALEN MAN TO REPLACE STERN
US radio conglom Infinity is reportedly close to announcing that former Van Halen man David Lee Roth will take over the Howard Stern Show slot on their New York station. As previously reported, Infinity plan to put different presenters into the slot in different regions, rather than give one person the task of becoming the "new Howard Stern" all over America.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Littl'ans feat. Peter Doherty - Their Way (Rough Trade)
Does Pete Doherty ever sleep? On the evidence of his relentless touring schedule (when he turns up) and his propensity for guesting on other people's records when he's not making his own music, it would seem not. The frustrating thing for Doherty's fans is that beneath all the tabloid hysteria lies a genuine talent. His fine vocals on this record are a case in point. Littl'ans is essentially cockney Andrew Aveling, a chum of Pete's and a former member of Add N to (X). This is a slighter tune than you would expect from Doherty's own material but still it has a lo-fi charm and he infuses it with his own unique charisma. JW
Release date: 17 Oct
Press contact: Rough Trade IH [CP, RP, NP] Anglo [CR, RR, NR]

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FLAMING LIPS FINISH MOVIE
The Flaming Lips have finished shooting that long awaited feature film 'Christmas On Mars'. The movie, which has been in production for several years, revolves around a group of scientists preparing to spend a first Christmas in space. The band's Wayne Coyne told Billboard.com "We transferred it all down to computer land within the last couple of days. Now I just have to remember what it is that we were trying to say."

He continued: "I think it's going to be a great, unique side road to what we've been all along. The Flaming Lips' audience has pushed us that way. With a lot of rock bands, maybe the audience would say, 'What are you guys doing?' But with us, it almost feels like, 'Go! Do it! See what happens!' People don't realize how powerful that is, to have people that believe in you and encourage you. The Flaming Lips are living proof that if you believe in people enough, they can do something. This movie is that, in a way."

Coyne plans to release teaser clips on the internet over the coming months, to get feedback from fans and hopes that the film will be ready by the end of next summer. On the showing of the movie, he adds: "We could take the movie around as well, and not just be playing as the Flaming Lips as a rock band. I'm thinking of taking it to theaters and having it be an experience where we bring in giant sound systems, smoke machines, Christmas lights, shit falls on you from the ceiling and you can smoke pot and do whatever you want. There's something about the communal experience while something intense and unexpected is happening. I'm sure it will come out on DVD and there'll be a soundtrack, but that isn't the real experience."

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FORMER BELLE SIGNS SOLO DEAL
Ex-Belle & Sebastian singer Isobel Campbell has signed a solo deal with V2 records and her first album release will be 'Ballad Of The Broken Seas', a collaboration with sometime Queens Of The Stone Age member Mark Lanegan. The first release will be a download only, limited edition 7" release, with a cover of Hank Williams' 'Ramblin Man' on the A side and new Campbell song 'Further Into The Night" on the B, and will be followed by the release of the album in February next year. Campbell, expected to release a second album in 2006, 'Milk White Sheets', is also planning some live dates for early next year.

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BILLY JOEL ATTEMPTED SUICIDE REVEALED
Author Hank Bordowitz has published a new book 'Billy Joel: The Life & Times Of An Angry Young Man', in which he tells how the singer once tried to off himself by drinking furniture polish. Joel apparently confessed: "I drank furniture polish... It looked tastier than bleach."

The book, which details the singers battles with depression and alcoholism, describes how Joel became so tormented by an affair he was having with his drummer's wife, that it drove him to attempt suicide. The cuckolded drummer in question, John Small, was luckily on hand to save the life of his cuckold-er, rushing him to hospital where he was admitted to a psychiatric unit and put on suicide watch. Joel wrote a suicide note prior to the incident, which later became the lyrics to his song 'Tomorrow Is Today'.

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JACKO MOBBED IN LONDON AGAIN
Michael Jackson seems to be getting out a bit more; first he's mobbed by fans outside a 'Billy Elliot' matinee, then he's mobbed by fans outside the recording studio where he's allegedly working on that Katrina charity single, now he's been mobbed by fans at Madame Tussauds. Jackson arrived at the wax emporium accompanied by his three children, who, by the way, are called Prince Michael Jr, Prince Michael II and Paris-Michael, if you didn't know. Which is a shame. As usual, all three had their faces covered. Gosh, I'm glad Michael Jackson isn't my Dad.

Anyway, the Jackson walked through the crowd of fans (How did the fans know he was going to be there? Hmm. Perhaps they got a text from meeting-stars.com? ) shielding his eyes from camera flashes where he was greeted by a big crowd of Tussauds staff.

I want to finish that last sentence with 'who thought he was a new waxwork delivery'. But I'm not going to. Because that would be cheap.

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BUSTED BOY SPENDS WEEKEND WITH JACKO
Talking of Jacko, word has it that former Busted boy James Bourne spent the weekend with Jackson at London's Dorchester hotel. Jackson apparently invited Bourne over to the hotel with his dancer friend Ashley Moore, who apparently performed with Jacko at that famous performance at the Brit Awards in 1996. No comment from either Jacko or Bourne's people on the meeting, though a source has told the Sun: "Now James has been invited to Neverland."

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SON OF DORK JOIN POLL WINNERS PARTY LINE UP
Talking of James, you all presumably know he has now formed a new band called Son Of Dork, this time with four fellow members, presumably so no one band mate can get above himself and call the whole thing off on a whim. The video for the band's first single 'Ticket Outta Loserville' is doing the rounds, but you'll be able to see them perform live at the T4 / Smash Hits Poll Winners Party next month, because they've just been added to the bill alongside all the usual pop suspects like Girls Aloud, Lee Ryan, Westlife, Rachel Stevens, Craig David and the always wonderful McFly. The annual pop awards bash will take place on 20 Nov at the Wembley Arena Pavilion, aired the same day on Channel 4.

Commenting on the event, Smash Hits editor Lara Palamoudian told CMU: "Once again, The T4 Poll Winners' Party With Smash Hits promises to be an amazing musical event. It truly is the event the stars want to play at, because readers of Smash Hits are some of the most devoted music fans in the world. Last year's Party saw amazing performances from McFly, Girls Aloud and Kylie, and the 2005 show will be bigger and better than ever."

More info on the awards is at http://www.pollwinnersparty.com - press info from Fifth Element.

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NOEL GALLAGHER SAYS MODERN BANDS ARE RUBBISH
Yes, another Gallagher story to emerge from those pesky Q Awards. Noel Gallagher has said that his band's success at the ceremony is indicative of the poor state of today's music scene. The Oasis man, who won Best Album and The People's Choice Award said "What does it say about the state of music today that it's left to us to dominate these events? I'm 38. I shouldn't really be here. It's embarrassing. Where are all the 21-year-olds? Where's the next Liam Gallagher? Oasis have been going for 20 years and we shouldn't be getting all the awards today. There should be young bands coming through. There has been nothing to challenge Oasis at all."

Noel went on: "Remember what it was like in 1994 when we came on the scene? It was a movement that swept the country. There has been nothing like that since and I think that is pretty bad. The album charts at the moment are really boring and bland."

Yes, you swept the country. No one does it any more, at all. Of course, there are those who might argue that Q is the reading material of dad-rock types who were probably in their early or late twenties in 1994 and that the Q Awards represent the views of people who aren't aware enough of the vibrant and exciting music scene that's alive and well and happening after they've gone to bed. Not that CMU embrace this viewpoint, I hasten to add.

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WOLFMAN JOINS BABYSHAMBLES ON STAGE
Pete Doherty was joined onstage by friend and sometime collaborator Wolfman at the Babyshambles gig at Brixton Academy on Tuesday. The pair performed a duet which ended with Doherty diving into the crowd. He apparently returned to the stage with his shirt in shreds before performing the band's closing track. Doherty is reported to have performed fairly lucidly and caused no riots.

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MIDGE URE GETS HONORARY DEGREE
Well, it's about time someone paid Midge Ure some attention, what with Geldof hogging all the Live Aid/8 limelight. Mr Ure has been awarded an honorary degree by the University of Abertay in Dundee. The musician was commended for thirty years of artistic work - his Ultravox and solo outings - and his charity work - for Live Aid, 8, Princes Trust, and breast cancer charity Breakthrough.

Ure said "Having left school at the age of 15, I never expected to receive such an accolade. It's an absolute honour and I will cherish this moment for ever. To be honest, I thought it would just come through the post. I believe that if you're passionate about whatever you want to achieve in your life, luck still has a little to do with it but passion will drive you."

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COOGAN ADMITS FLING WITH LOVE
Steve Coogan has apparently admitted now that he did in fact have some sort of a 'thing' with Courtney Love, despite those strenuous denials a few months back. You may remember that Love had reportedly said that the couple got up to no good whilst staying at the same hotel in Los Angeles. Spokespeople for both stars issued statements at the time that countered the claims.

Now, however, Coogan has told New York Times: "Ah, only 80% of it was bull and 20% is true. OK, so I made out with her."

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