CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 12th June
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- R Kelly sex video to get public airing
- Warner merge classical into catalogue label
- Radiohead only looking for single album deals
- Mills McCartney denies allegations about her past
- Doherty doing well in Portugal
- Album review: The Sound - The Dutch Radio Recordings
- More opposition for Apple over interoperability
- Snow Patrol postpone US tour
- Lemonheads confirmed for Somerset House
- Jay-Z to do a gig
- Korn play Download with a little help from their friends
- SOAD's Malakian talks side-projects
- Beeb secure more Ross
- Sugababes re-record tracks for greatest hits
- Album review: Various Artists - Buzzin Fly Vol 3 mixed by Ben Watt
- Axl Rose needs oxygen to make it through gigs
- Robbie promises fans a free gig
- Britney says marriage is fine, actually
- Cliff Richard swears shocker

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TOP BIT>>
So, opposition is mounting against Apple and their much reported (here especially) unwillingness to allow anyone else to make DRM protected music available to play on the iPod, a strategy which, of course, locks iPod users to iTunes and vice versa. Politicians in various Scandinavian countries are now raising concerns about aspects of iTunes (both the interoperability thing and other aspects of the iTunes end user agreement), which comes after (albeit opposition) MPs in France raised their concerns about Apple's way of doing business in the digital music market. In the US, meanwhile, anti-DRM campaigners have been staging protests outside Apple Stores, against DRM in general, but also against Apple's DRM in particular - it being the most restrictive, because of Apple's unwillingness to share their technology with others. And, of course, concerns about Apple aren't restricted to the consumer rights and anti-DRM brigade - BPI boss Peter Jamieson last week aired some concerns about Apple's dominance in the digital music space, and especially the interoperability issues of Apple's current approach. With opposition mounting in all these different camps, it will be interesting to see if Apple have to give way on this at any point in the near future. Of course Apple as a brand still enjoys huge popularity, and despite the increasing coverage of the interoperability issues that limit iTunes and the iPod they both remain by far the most popular platform and player for digital music, in the US and Europe at least. And last week US students said that the iPod was the most "in" thing of the moment, even more "in" than beer, which traditionally tops that survey. But while Apple seems to be winning the lobbying war on this one - French politicians eventually watered down their proposals for forcing interoperability in this space - and while Apple still generally enjoys good coverage in the mainstream press, is their refusal to budge on this damaging their brand long term? I can't help thinking opinion formers at the grass roots - long term Apple fans who always championed the Mac over the former 'evil corporate of the IT space', Microsoft - are starting to become Apple opponents. There have been times in Apple's history when those grass roots advocates helped keep a struggling computer firm in business. At the moment they are on such a high they probably don't need those advocates - but if things take a turn for the worse in the near future they might wish they hadn't lost those supporters by using Microsoft-style dominance and bloody mindedness to get their way. Either way, I think we can expect Apple opposition to continue to grow as the year develops.

PS: No new radio show this week I'm afraid for numerous technical reasons I won't even start to go into - there's a chance I might start crying if I did. But rest assured, we'll be back next Monday with another storming show.

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JOBS N STUFF>>

14th Floor PR is seeking a Press Assistant to support the PR team across national, regional and online press.  No previous press experience is necessary, but some prior involvement with music would be an advantage.  The successful candidate will be highly efficient with strong writing skills, flawless spelling and grammar, and a passion for music.  Computer literacy, including confidence with Microsoft Office, is essential.

Please send a covering letter and CV to Peter Hall: e-mail peter.hall@14thfloorpr.com or post to 14th Floor PR, 46 Kensington Court, London W8 5DP.

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PRESS ROOM>>

XFM REMIX NIGHT JUNE
Ladies and gentlemen, this is very exciting. The next edition of Xfm Remix Night at Cargo in London will be celebrating and previewing the upcoming launch of Eddy TM's brand new album, 'YrocK', a very special edition of Distinctive Record's Y4K series due for release in August. Just look at this line up. Live on the stage will be buzz band of the moment Humanzi. On the decks, meanwhile, will be the Freestylers, Breakfastaz, Dogtown Clash, Ils, MC Sir Real and Slim Jim - and all hosted by Eddy TM. It all takes place at Cargo on Rivington Street in London on 16 Jun. Tickets in advance from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk. Special concession guest list tickets at http://www.leylinepromotions.com.

More info: http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/remixnight

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ON AIR>>

TODAY ON TOTALROCK
Want all the Download gossip? Join Catbird for the 'Phantasmagoria', 9am to noon. Listen live at http://www.totalrock.com.

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RIGHT NOW IN THE CMU BEATS BAR>>

MySpace Of The Day: Siobhan Donaghy
Siobhan Donaghy gets a mention in a news item I wrote earlier this morning about Sugababes. This was, of course, because Siobhan Donaghy used to be in Sugababes and left. You'll read that item, later down. Unless you're one of those conscientious Sugababes objectors you hear so much of these days, and don't read items about Sugababes. Anyway, writing this news item reminded me of her solo work, and I was inspired to go and mess around trying to find her MySpace (as you do, when you're trying to meet a deadline). So, I found it, checked it out, and decided that it warranted a mention. She's got some really good tracks on there, very much worth a listen, and there's something resembling a proper blog. Hurrah.

http://www.myspace.com/siobhandonaghyparlophone  

This and more at http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk

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R KELLY SEX VIDEO TO GET PUBLIC AIRING
An American judge has ruled that a video that allegedly shows R&B star R Kelly having sex with an underage girl can be shown to the media and the wider public when it is presented as evidence in the upcoming court case against the singer. The video is key evidence in the long, long running case against Kelly relating to the underage sex claims - claims which have been around in one form or another for over three years but which are yet to come to court.

Defence lawyers had appealed for Judge Vincent Gaughan to restrict the viewing of the video to himself, the jurors and the legal representatives of both sides, saying that there was duty to protect the girl shown in the video, who is now 21 but was possibly as young as 13 when the video was filmed ('possibly' because, if I remember rightly, there is some dispute as to when the video was actually recorded). But Gaughan, who describes the video as "the whole crux and lynchpin of the case" ruled last week that there was no "overarching interest" in banning the tape from public view.

The public screening of the video is sure to heighten what is likely to already be frenzied media interest in this case, if and when it finally reaches court.

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WARNER MERGE CLASSICAL INTO CATALOGUE LABEL
The editor of classical music magazine Gramophone says that a move by Warner Music last week essentially means the major has ceased to be an active player in the classical sector. That conclusion follows the announcement that the US major's classical division, Warner Classics, is to be merged into Rhino, a division of the group that specialises primarily in reissues and compilations.

Warner Classics had already been downsized from its 90s peak, though Gramophone editor James Jolly says that under recent leader Matthew Cosgrove the classical label achieved critical acclaim for a number of signings and releases despite tight resources. Cosgrove has now left the label, however, and the magazine says it fears that this latest downsize means that Warner's classical output will be more or less exclusively concerned with re-releasing back catalogue rather than investing in new recordings.

If that is the case it remains to be seen what impact the changes on the wider classical genre. At a recent MusicTank debate on the classical world many felt that the role the major labels play in the sector was increasingly irrelevant anyway, although some at that event stressed that while the majors' investment in classical music was much lower now than in the past, it was still an investment on which the genre relied.

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RADIOHEAD ONLY LOOKING FOR SINGLE ALBUM DEALS
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has told Rolling Stone magazine that his band intend to stay without a long term recording contract. Radiohead, still one of the biggest bands in the UK of course, have not entered into a new record deal since their contract with EMI ended last year. Yorke now says that the band intends to look for single album deals as and when new long players are ready for release, rather than pursuing a long term relationship with any one record company. That is an approach Yorke has taken with his debut solo album, 'The Eraser', which is being released by Beggars imprint XL via a one album deal.

Confirming that intent to Rolling Stone's David Fricke, Yorke said that the only downside of being without a long term record contract was that the band lacked a rigid deadline: "My big problem with corporate structure is this bizarre sense of loyalty you're supposed to feel-towards what is basically a virus. It grows or dies, like any virus. And you use it for your own selfish ends. Jonny [Greenwood] had a big problem with the fact that we didn't have any obligation - a release date or anything. He found it difficult to work in a vacuum. Which is one of the reasons why we chose to go out on tour: 'This is something we can work toward'. It's human nature. Personally, I don't have that. But I can see why, if you're a group of people, you need it."

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MILLS MCCARTNEY DENIES ALLEGATIONS ABOUT HER PAST
Paul McCartney's ex-wife-to-be Heather Mills McCartney has denied recent allegations made about her in the News Of The World. Everyone, of course, knows what the allegations are – it's not the first time they've surfaced, but we're not going to talk about them here in case we get sued. Anyway, it's all been denied, with lawyers for the former model saying in a statement: "Heather Mills McCartney strongly denies the allegations in today's News of the World. These are not new stories and were refuted by her lawyers four years ago when first raised. The sources clearly are a variety of unreliable persons who have been paid for these stories. The timing of the article is clearly designed to cause maximum hurt to Heather, her husband and family at this sensitive time."

The couple, as previously reported, announced that they had decided to separate last month after four years of marriage and released a statement explaining that they found it "increasingly difficult to maintain a normal relationship with constant intrusion into our private lives". Reports were suggesting that Mills-McCartney is planning to give a television interview to present her side of the story, but a spokeswoman said at the weekend that her client would not be giving "any interviews or commenting in relation to her pending divorce from her husband. This is a private matter and the interests of their child are paramount."

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DOHERTY DOING WELL IN PORTUGAL
Pete Doherty's lawyer, Sean Curran, has told Thames Magistrates' that his client is doing well at a rehab clinic in Portugal, and was expected to return to the UK at the weekend. Curran was speaking at the latest hearing to review Doherty's progress in his battle to overcome drug addiction. He added that the Babyshambles frontman was "striving towards" negative drugs tests, insisting that there were "valid reasons" as to why he was unable to be in court in person. "I have spoken to the person who is managing Mr Doherty at present and he has confirmed he is in Portugal and he is at the clinic," said Curran. "I understand treatment is going well and he is due to return back to the UK on Saturday."

The judge Jane McIvor accepted this excuse, noting that he is not currently on bail or on a charge, and said it was a "tough struggle for him, but he's not going backwards," before setting a date of 13 Jul for Doherty's next appearance in court.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Sound - The Dutch Radio Recordings (Renascent Records)
If there is one major good from the current crop of post-punk inspired bands, it's that bands who were overlooked during their existence have finally achieved some recognition. The appetite for angular guitar rock has resulted in the reappraisal of several late 70s/early 80s bands and the reissue of their back catalogues. Renascent is one label actively doing this; reissuing the work of bands such as The Comsat Angels and The Wild Swans, but most notably, The Sound. Despite inexplicably never achieving any kind of commercial success, their influence cannot be underestimated. For instance, it's likely that U2 and Echo and the Bunnymen had listened to The Sound, as many common characteristics are evident; straining and yearning vocals, introspective lyrics of finding oneself, and anthemic and urgent guitar work. The band's first two albums; 'Jeopardy' and 'In The Lion's Mouth' are amongst the best British albums of the 1980s, featuring stunning tracks such as 'I Can't Escape Myself', 'Silent Air', 'Sense of Purpose' and 'Winning'. These tracks and others comprise the set lists of these five concerts in the Netherlands which took place between 1981-1985. These recordings demonstrate the excellence of the band's songs, which are replicated perfectly, and also give an impression of what a fine live band The Sound must have been. Thanks to Renascent, hopefully more people will have the opportunity to discover this great band. Unfortunately, singer Adrian Borland passed away in 1999, but no doubt he would have taken pride in the band's chance at capturing a modern audience. KW
Release date: 3 July.
Press contact: Stone Immaculate [all]

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MORE OPPOSITION FOR APPLE OVER INTEROPERABILITY
Although moves by French politicians to control Apple's dominance in the digital music space have been watered down somewhat after proactive lobbying from the computer firm, the IT company faces new pressure from elsewhere in Europe over licencing and interoperability issues.

The Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman has ordered Apple to make changes to the End User Licensing Agreement that it forces everyone who uses its download platform to enter into. The regulator objects in particular to certain aspects of the agreement that rely on English rather than native law, and also the fact that the licence gives Apple the option to change some of the rights a customer has over a track they have bougtht after the purchase is complete. Apple have until 21 Jun to comply with those demands - and even if they do, further pressure is expected from Norway, and neighbouring countries like Denmark and Sweden, regarding concerns over Apple's unwillingness to enable other download platforms to sell iPod compatible music, the issue that caused MPs in France to propose what Apple called "unreasonable" legislation that would have forced the computer company to change its business model or withdraw from the French market.

Opposition to the interoperability issues caused by Apple's insistence that only iTunes can sell iPod compatible DRMed music is also mounting in the US, albeit not so much in political circles. A campaign called 'Defective By Design' has staged protests outside Apple stores in eight US cities. This group is actually anti all DRM, and therefore equally opposed to the digital rights management technology of Apple's competitors, even though Microsoft et al make their DRM technology available to a plethora of download platforms so do not contribute so greatly to interoperability problems. However, because Apple's strategy makes DRMed content even more restrictive, they are likely to find themselves a key focus for the anti-DRM movement in the coming months.

The growing protests come as a survey of US students put the iPod as the most "in" thing of the moment, ahead of beer and the internet. Beer nearly always tops this survey by research firm Student Monitor, so the fact the iPod has come top is significant. The fact the iPod is so "in" (whatever that really means) possibly aids the anti-Apple cause - ie the fact that the iPod is so popular means that the fact iTunes is the only source of DRMed music for the device is an even bigger problem - but then again it possibly means that consumer groups might find it hard to persuade the masses to support the anti-Apple movement, even if said consumer groups are acting in the masses' interest.

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SNOW PATROL POSTPONE US TOUR
Snow Patrol have been forced to postpone the remainder of their North American tour because frontman Gary Lightbody is having trouble with polyps on his vocal chords. A number of shows had already been cancelled, but organisers hoped that the singer would recover in time for at least some of the dates, but Lightbody has now been advised to rest his voice until mid-July. The tour was set to finish on 27 Jun in New York, but the dates will all be rescheduled for September.

In a recent post on the snow patrol website, Lightbody wrote: "It is completely my fault for not taking better care of my voice. The voice is an instrument and I should learn to take care of it as such. When I have it back and working again I won't take it for granted anymore."

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LEMONHEADS CONFIRMED FOR SOMERSET HOUSE
The newly reformed Lemonheads have been added to the line-up for this year's series of gigs at Somerset House in London. The band, who are set to release a new album in the autumn, appear on 16 July. Here's the full list of Somerset gigs, FYI.

6 Jul: Divine Comedy, Bell X1
7 Jul: Jose Gonzalez
8 Jul: Fat Freddy's Drop
10 Jul: Robert Plant and The Strange Sensation, Orange Blossom
11 Jul: Damian Marley
12 Jul: Corinne Bailey Rae
13 Jul: Elbow, Liam Frost and the Slowdown Family
14 Jul: Erykah Badu
15 Jul: Erykah Badu
16 Jul: The Lemonheads

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JAY-Z TO DO A GIG
Jay-Z is to come out of rapping retirement to play a one-off show this month to celebrate the tenth anniversary of his debut album "Beyond Reasonable Doubt". The gig will take place at the Radio City Music Hall in New York on 25 Jun, exactly a decade after the release of his first LP. There has, of course, recently been mounting speculation that the hip-hopper would in fact record an album this year to celebrate the ten year mark.

Announcing the show, Jay-Z refused to be drawn on whether he would play the album in its entirety at the show, saying: "Just maybe, I don't want to put myself in a box. Anything can happen."

He added "I want the purist to be there - the 'Reasonable Doubt' lovers".

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KORN PLAY DOWNLOAD WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM THEIR FRIENDS
Korn had to rely on their celebrity friends to go ahead with their set at the Download Festival this weekend, when frontman Jonathan Davis had to pull out of the proceedings because of an un-specified illness. Despite Davis being hopsitalised at the last minute, the rest of his band still took to the stage on Saturday night, relying on singers from other bands appearing at the rock fest to fill in on vocal duties. According to the NME, the guest singers were as follows:

'Its On' (with Jesse Hasek from 10 Years)
'Falling Away' (with M Shadow from Avenged Sevenfold)
'Somebody' (with Dez Fafara from Devildriver)
'Coming Undone' (with Dez Fafara from 'Devildriver')
'A.D.I.D.A.S.' (with Benji Webbe from Skindred)
'Clown' (with Corey Taylor from Stone Sour)
'Freak' (with Corey Taylor from Stone Sour)
'Blind' (with Matt Healy from Trivium)

The last minute fill-in arrangement was similar to what happened to Metallica at last year's Download festival, when drummer Lars Ulrich had to pull out at the last minute, again due to an unspecified illness. Then Joey Jordison of Slipknot and Slayer's Dave Lombardo stood up to help the headliners go ahead with their set. The similarities between Metallica and Korn's predicaments had led to some rumours around the Download festival on Saturday afternoon that Metallica's James Hetfield might provide vocals for some of Korn's set, but alas that wasn't to happen.

Meanwhile, in kind of related news, the NME asked Ulrich, who made it to Download this year, about last year's "mystery illness". He responded thus: "Somebody asked me if it was true that my wife caught me with two prostitutes and an 8ball (of cocaine). But that's actually not what happened. What happened was I caught my wife with two prostitutes and an 8ball. And she wouldn't fucking let me join them! I got all hot and bothered and I didn't make it". So that's that cleared up. On playing Download at Donington this time round, Ulrich continued: "This is ground zero. This is the shit, it's the place you want to be if you're in a rock band. This is the only show I get nervous for. I got fucking terrified. I'll have to take a Xanax or something!"

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SOAD'S MALAKIAN TALKS SIDE-PROJECTS
System Of A Down's Daron Malakian says that after his band's appearances at this year's Ozzfest, he'll be concentrating on his new project, a new band called Scars On Broadway, who hope to release their debut album next summer. Malakian, who has already begun writing songs for the band says: "I'm still kind of getting the whole band together at this point. After I get back home from Ozzfest that's pretty much what I'll be focusing on. I think a System fan will be able to relate to the music, but there's a few different directions I want to take, whether it be a little bit more ethnic or sometimes electronic. There's just a few artistic directions I want to take with Scars that I haven't taken with System yet."

He that the new band doesn't mean SOAD are over, but that they are taking a break: "People are just gonna assume that we're breaking up, but we're not calling it that," he explained. "We just want to go off and do a few other things. If we were breaking up we wouldn't be able to get on stage together for this tour."

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BEEB SECURE MORE ROSS
As you probably all saw on Friday, the BBC have secured Jonathan Ross as a flagship presenter across their TV and radio network for at least another three years, following speculation that Channel 4, who gave Ross his big break of course, were bidding to win him back. The deal reportedly covers his Radio 2 show, the Film show, his chat show and other related ventures on the Beeb, and is worth a rumoured £18 million, making him one of the best paid UK TV stars in broadcasting history. Which is nice. For him.

Confirming a deal had been reached (but making no comment on the monies), BBC 1 Controller Peter Fincham, said in a statement: "Jonathan is a uniquely talented broadcaster and is at the very top of his game. He's one of the defining faces of BBC1 and his Friday night chat show is the best in the business. We're all delighted he's staying."

Ross added: "I'm delighted to be staying with the BBC if only because it is the only studio I can drive to without getting lost. It is the best channel in the country, and I'm proud they want me back."

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SUGABABES RE-RECORD TRACKS FOR GREATEST HITS
According to reports, Sugababes have re-recorded tracks originally containing vocals by founding member Siobhan Donaghy for their greatest hits release, out at the end of this year. Donaghy's vocals will be re-done by the Sugababe who replaced her, Heidi Range. However, new member Amelle Berabbah will not, apparently, be re-recording the vocals of the recently departed Mutya Buena.

Donaghy, you may remember, released a critically acclaimed but commercially not-that-successful solo album, 'Revolution In Me' back in 2003. She is to release a second solo album next year via Parlophone, with a single release set to precede it this October.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Buzzin Fly Vol 3 mixed by Ben Watt (Buzzin Fly)
The Buzzin Fly imprint has mostly been a bit of a slow burner. It could probably have gone meteoric but honcho Watt is growing his little one with solid roots. It starts and ends a bit art house with some spoken word stuff by the boss, but the meat of it really melts in the mouth - Watt takes his usual deep house surprisingly tech-y on this compo. Highlights are the majestic 'Clear Sky' by Kayot, and 'Lose Control' by Darkmountaingroup which sounds something like Joey Beltram's seminal Energy Flash and is all the better for it. Madoka's Metamotional is pretty cool, whilst 'Insomnia' gets slighty afro-house, and Jimpster's 'Square Up' is a grower, and is as high quality as ever; 'San Fernando Road', meanwhile, gets quite bleepy with John Tejada applying the bolts to Nino Astronaut's cut – and it all adds up to a good ride showcasing some of the label's releases and more. No flies on this disc – definitely one of the finer mix compos you'll find this summer. PV
Release date: 5 Jun
Press contact: Buzzin Fly IH [all]

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AXL ROSE NEEDS OXYGEN TO MAKE IT THROUGH GIGS
According to stories in the Hungarian press, Axl Rose is using an oxygen mask to help him through the ongoing Guns n Roses tour. The reports suggest that the singer ran off stage after each song to use the mask at his band's recent gig in Hungary, and also that the same concert was delayed several hours due to problems with the oxygen tank. Rose was also over an hour late turning up to Wednesday's gig at the Hammersmith Apollo, and many fans left early, rather than miss the tube home. The Sun reports that an ambulance was on standby at that London concert in case he had any breathing problems.

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ROBBIE PROMISES FANS A FREE GIG
Robbie Williams has promised his Irish fans a free gig after he gave what he considered to be a lacklustre performance in Dublin last week. Williams was supposed to descend from a gondola to the stage during a rendition of 'Let Me Entertain You', but the stunt didn't go as planned and he had to rush back down to the stage to sing the song. The singer admitted what had happened, and that it had affected his performance, before pledging to do the free concert – a promise which was, of course, greeted with huge applause from his audience. "I'll be back before the end of the year," he said.

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BRITNEY SAYS MARRIAGE IS FINE, ACTUALLY
Britney Spears has denied reports that her marriage is in trouble in a new interview with NBC. The singer says that her marriage to K-Fed is "awesome", and he is not, as reports suggest, living in the basement, thanks very much. She also says that it's the tabloids that have made her an "emotional wreck," adding that she thinks that the paparazzi have "crossed the line a little bit." She also defended herself over the constant media criticism of her parenting skills, saying "I know I'm a good mom", and explained, with regard to that incident when she was pictured driving with baby son Sean on her lap, that: "I did it with my dad. I'd sit on his lap and I drive. We're country."

Asked what she would say to the paparazzi, as people, Spears said: "You have a life. And if you don't, you have to realise that we're people and that we . . . just need privacy and we need our respect. And those are things that you have to have as a human being."

So, think on, media types. Leave that girl alone.

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CLIFF RICHARD SWEARS SHOCKER
According to super-sweary chef Gordon Ramsay, the British public is set to be exposed to something fairly disturbing – the sight and sound of Cliff Richard saying the word 'fuck'. The singer appears on Ramsey's Channel 4 series 'The F Word', apparently taking part in a blind folded taste test, trying two wines, one of which was Cliff's own wine, produced by his vineyard in the Algarve. The first wine he tried he pronounced "amazing", to which Ramsay responded "Of course it was, it was a £400 bottle". When Richard tried the second, his own, he professed not to like it.

Ramsay apparently says: "I told him it was a sort of £12.99 bottle and Cliff said, 'That's rubbish. I wouldn't pay for that, it's tainted, it's insipid. It tastes like vinaigrette. I'd never buy that.' I told him, 'Cliff, that was your wine' and, well, fuck me, he went off. Bananas. He leant over and with his finger and said, 'Young man, go fuck yourself'. Sirs can't swear like that".

In fairness to Cliff, a 'veteran observer' has pointed out: "The first wine Ramsay gave him was a £400 claret. Of course a Portuguese table wine, made from five-year-old vines, is going to taste rough after that. It's a classic wine industry sting".

His spokesman Bill Latham, meanwhile, has said: "Cliff didn't recognise the wine because it was the end of the day, he'd had a meal, he'd tasted six wines before that. His palate was in no state to taste at that level. It's all ridiculously exaggerated," adding "The f-word isn't in Cliff's vocabulary".

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