CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 9th January
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- BPI top job restructure planned
- Kaiser Chiefs name second album
- Jolie on Madonna adoption
- US Hall Of Fame inductees announced
- Cheeky Girls reportedly in debt
- Former Test Icicle's new project progressing
- Hadouken Bloc Party remix online
- Peter Bjorn and John rereleases
- Bands line up for LA benefit
- Clap Your Hands Say secret gig
- Chalk up this new night
- CSS announce tour dates
- Triptych festival announcement
- HMV axe single chart rack
- Koch rejig bank payments as takeover talks continue
- Touchstone TV launch inhouse music department
- Warner and Motorola strategically ally
- MTV and Toshiba strategically ally
- Ford and Microsoft strategically ally
- M6 and Musicbrigade ally too
- Virgin Radio CEO quits
- Classic FM station manager promoted
- Donny Tourette challenged to punch up
- Pellow and Waterman are best at duets
- Noel Gallagher is rich shocker
- Tara on Robbie
- Winehouse drunk shocker

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TOP BIT>>
A random rant for you this morning. Is it just me, or is it really irritating when websites immediately play music on your arrival? It seems that a clause of every artist/label web brief these days includes the line 'make music play as soon as the page loads', which is hi-tech and cool and trendy and all that, but don't you find it really irritating when you idly surf over to a website and then some bit of music starts blaring out at you from nowhere, forcing a mad panic mouse jig across your screen in a desperate bid to find the 'audio off' button, which always seems to be a tiny dot in the most obscure corner of the page which demands expert mouse control to click on?

Now I understand that when you're a band or artist or record label your music is everything, and you want people to be able to experience that music with ease when they reach your website, that all makes sense. But isn't it a little arrogant to assume that when someone visits a site to check out a news update or a tour date or a phone number that they would want the music they've chosen to play via their iTunes or Windows Media Player to be drowned out by some random track chosen by a web designer (and it always plays at twice the volume of your iTunes, have you noticed that)? Perhaps I am completely alone on this one, but if not let me know and we'll start lobbying all those web master types to make audio an opt-in rather than an opt-out feature.

And while we're dissing websites, let's ask this: when exactly will online media owners realise that those pop-over ads that appear within your browser and block access to the page you're trying to reach are entirely counterproductive? The only reason they get a high click through rate is because people accidentally click on them while they are desperately seeking the 'close ad' button. At what point, exactly, while I'm desperately trying to close one of these ads because they are preventing me from reading what I want to read, am I meant to think "mmmm, brand x, they are pissing me off and getting in my way - perhaps I'll buy one of their products"? And sometimes the ad just won't go (or even when it's gone you can't access the links beneath it) meaning you give up accessing the site completely, so the media owner loses out too. They are such a flawed advertising technology you really have to wonder which deluded marketing execs are buying these things.

And while I wonder about that, I'll end today's random rant (with apologies to any website owners, designers or ad buyers I've just offended - you're all lovely really).

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CMU RECOMMENDS>>

KILL ALL HIPPIES JANUARY
The first Kill All Hippies of 2007 takes place this Friday, 12 Jan, at the Carling Islington Academy and has yet another stellar live line up - The Svengalis, The Rocks, Talk Taxis and the mighty Vatican DC. On the decks will be Yr Mum Yr Dad plus KAH resident Gavin Nugent. Tickets for the January show are just a fiver if you buy or guest list in advance (you can do the former at http://www.ticketweb.co.uk, the latter at http://www.leylinepromotions.com/killallhippies). And as if that wasn't enough, pints of Carling will be just £1.80.

BASICS: Friday 12 Jan, Carling Islington Academy, London, 9.30pm - 3am, tix £5 in advance. Press info from Leyline.

More recommends: http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk/cmurecommends

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: Grand Drive
This tip is a slight departure from the intended purpose of the MySpace Of The Day feature - ie, to highlight bands who have just blazed on to the scene, or are on the horizon - in that these guys have been around for quite a while now. They seem to be one of those groups that are held in the utmost respect by other bands, but never seem to have broken through. The reason for this MySpace tip is because they are apparently cooking up some new material, which has been very long in the offing. They've quietly been producing some of the most beautiful music you're likely to hear for a while now, and their MySpace features one track from each of their previous four albums. The different producers on each album ensure each has a different sound, but the characteristic close sung harmonies and gorgeous melodies from the Wilson brothers are present and correct throughout. Give this music a listen and it will get under your skin, guaranteed. TH

http://www.myspace.com/granddrive1

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BPI TOP JOB RESTRUCTURE PLANNED
Ah, speculation is rife, as it so often is, not that I really know what 'rife' means, though the dictionary says it means 'abundant', which is possibly an overstatement in this regard, although I guess abundance can be relative, right? Hang on, where was I going with this? Oh yes, speculation is rife regarding an imminent structural revamp at the recording industry's main trade body, the BPI.

The speculators are speculating three things. First, that the association's current full time chairman, Peter Jamieson, is about to stand down. Second, that after his departure the top job at the trade body will be split into two, basically returning to what it used to be pre-Jamieson's appointment back in 2004, with a part time chairman and full time director general. Third that the post of chairman will be filled by EMI Music UK chairman Tony Wadsworth - it being traditional, pre-Jamieson, that the non-executive chairman role at the BPI be filled by a senior major label bod.

Neither the BPI or EMI have responded to those rumours, although an official announcement is expected in the next week or so. Meanwhile, you should expect speculation to remain rife. I know I will.

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KAISER CHIEFS NAME SECOND ALBUM
The very second I wrote the words "still not titled second album" in relation to Kaiser Chiefs in yesterday's CMU Daily, the band only went and titled it. Just to make me look foolish, I'm sure. Damn those Kaiser Chiefs. Anyway, the highly anticipated (you're highly anticipating it, right?) follow up to 2005's 'Employment' will be called 'Yours Truly, Angry Mob', and is out on 26 Feb. Actually, not only have Kaiser Chiefs named the album, they've also named every one of the thirteen tracks that appear on it. And here they are...

Ruby
The Angry Mob
Heat Dies Down
High Royds
Love Is Not A Competition (But I'm Winning)
Thank You Very Much
I Can Do Without You
My Kind Of Guy
Everything Is Average Nowadays
Boxing Champ
Learnt My Lesson Well
Try Your Best
Retirement

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JOLIE ON MADONNA ADOPTION
Actress Angelina Jolie has questioned the processes Madonna employed when adopting Malawian boy David Banda last year, although she has also questioned the media's response to the adoption too. Jolie was being questioned about Madonna's decision to adopt little Banda, of course, because of her own much publicised adoption of two orphans, one from Cambodia and one from Ethiopia.

Speaking to French magazine Gala, she said that Madonna should have been wary about adopting a child from Malawi where adoption laws are undeveloped. Jolie: "Madonna knew the situation in Malawi, where he [David] was born. It's a country where there is no real legal framework for adoption. Personally, I prefer to stay on the right side of the law. I would never take a child away from a place where adoption is illegal".

But commenting on the media outrage that followed Madonna's adoption of Banda, she continued: "I have been horrified by the attacks she's been subjected to. All that should count is the happiness of her little David".

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US HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES ANNOUNCED
Those years keep spinning round so quickly, it seems like you've only just had one set of inductions into the US Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and then another one comes speeding along. Yep, details of this year's inductions have been announced, and this time its REM, Van Halen, Patti Smith, Grandmaster Flash and The Ronettes who will be getting the nod from the American music establishment. And about time too.

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CHEEKY GIRLS REPORTEDLY IN DEBT
Well, I'm not sure secret liaisons with a Liberal Democrat are going to help them with this one. Although, you never know. The Cheeky Girls and their mother/manager Margit Semal have reportedly run up debts of around £130,000, and are being chased for cash by a number of producers and promoters who have provided services to the pop duo.

In a report in last weekend's Mail On Sunday, Devon based Vegas Entertainments said that Semal and her daughters owed them £5000 and that payments were still owing despite a court order going in their favour. The company's Graham Stone told the paper: "I've been in the business for 35 years and I've never encountered anything like the trouble I've had with Margit Semal. We've been to court five times and got nowhere". The company's lawyer, Chris Donnison, added: "In August 2005, we got a judgment against Mrs Semal for £5,000, but there has been no payment. We're starting proceedings for her property to be sold".

Music producer Barry Upton also claims he is owed money by the Cheeky corporation, telling the MoS: "I wrote a song with her [Margit]. She's not a musician but she knows what she wants. The result was 'Cheeky Flamenco' and 'Hey Boy'. She wanted to release it independently, so I put her in touch with a video guy and a distributor and a price was agreed. The single went into the Top 40 and there was also a follow-up Christmas record, 'Boys & Girls (Xmas Love)'. But nobody got paid".

But when questioned by the paper, Semal herself denied the debts, saying: "The Cheeky Girls and I do not owe any money. Our company's invoices are all paid on time".

Cheeky boy MP Lembit Opik was unavailable for comment. Actually we didn't ask him for one. Who wants to know what he thinks? Did you know William Hill are offering odds of 66/1 for Mr Opik MP having a number one record with the Cheeky Girls sometime this year? Then again they're offering odds of 33/1 that he will marry one of them (either one I think). And odds of 25/1 that he'll become leader of the Liberal Democrats which seems strange to me - surely the chart topping Cheeky collaboration is much more likely than that?

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FORMER TEST ICICLE'S NEW PROJECT PROGRESSING
Former Test Icicle Devote Hynes' previously reported new band Lightspeed Champion are reportedly hard at work in a studio in Nebraska working with Bright Eyes producer Mike Mogis on a debut album. Writing on the band's website, Hynes says: "Mike Mogis is a dude, and this record is gonna be sweet... Conor Oberst stopped by the studio to say "hey" and stuff which was cool... So far so good".

One track, 'Christmas Song', is available on their website - http://www.lightspeedchampion.com - with the whole album due later this year.

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HADOUKEN BLOC PARTY REMIX ONLINE
The Hadouken boys and girl have remixed Bloc Party's new single 'The Prayer' and are making it available to anyone who wants it at http://www.hadoukenblog.blogspot.com, which is nice of them because the single itself isn't out until 29 Jan.

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PETER BJORN AND JOHN RERELEASES
Talking of Wichita Records artists, which we kind of were, following on from the success of last year's long player 'Young Folks', those Peter Bjorn And John chaps are re-releasing their first two albums which, if I'm not mistaken, have never been officially released in the UK. Their 2002 eponymous debut and 2005's 'Falling Out' will both be released here on 5 Mar. The latter will also include tracks from the band's 'Beats, Traps And Backgrounds' EP, including live favourite '(I Just Wanna) See Through'.

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BANDS LINE UP FOR LA BENEFIT
If you happen to be in LA on 31 Jan (which isn't completely out of the question, is it?) then I'd be getting myself down to the city's Alex Theatre where you'll find a semi-acoustic benefit gig being staged to raise money for Wally Ingram, a drummer and percussionist who has worked with a string of artists over the years (most notably Timbuk 3, but also the likes of Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Los Lobos, and Tracy Chapman) who needs to fund ongoing cancer treatment. On the bill will be the aforementioned Rait plus Keb Mo, The Martinis (who count Pixies members Joey Santiago and David Lovering in their number) and Garbage, which should all make for a rather good night. Tickets are a bit pricey (starting at $65), but it is in a good cause, and should be a very fine night out. More info at http://www.alextheatre.org.

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CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY SECRET GIG
Another Wichita artist story for you. Today really is turning out to be something of a Wichita special. Anyway, those rather wonderful Clap Your Hands Say Yeah types will play a special secret show on 30 Jan. That's all I'll say about the matter, it being secret and all. Though if you consider yourself to be important enough to share in the secret, Dog Day Press may be able to offer some enlightenment as to the what, where and when. The secret show will precede the 19 Feb release of the band's new album 'Satan Said Dance', and the following not at all secret gigs (unfortunately the lack of secrecy means the Shepherds Bush date is sold out).

2 Feb: Manchester Academy
3 Feb: Glasgow Barrowlands
4 Feb: Birmingham Academy
13 Feb: London Shepherds Bush Empire

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CHALK UP THIS NEW NIGHT
So, it was the last ever edition of Erol Alkan's Trash club in London last night. I guess we really should have told you that in advance of the event itself. Apologies. Still, I'm sure the Trash faithful were their in abundance. In fact, they were probably rife. Anyway, with one of the capital's finest nights having bowed out, there's a gap in the London club goers diary for something new. And while I hear the people behind Trash are planning to fill that gap with a new venture, until we get the lowdown on that, perhaps fans of indie electro crossover nonsense could try this new night that launches at the London Scala this Saturday (13 Jan).

Called Chalk, there'll be live bits and DJ bits, and the launch line up is looking rather good with no less that Mystery Jets (Live), Hot Chip, Nadia Ksaiba, Mathew !Wowow!, The Lovely Jonjo, Jack Penate (Live), Cajun Dance Party (Live), The Bishops (Live), White Heat DJs, Faris Rotter, The Young Turks and The Whore Moans on the bill. Phew. More details at http://www.chalkclub.co.uk. This night will be a weekly operation, with Rumble Strips, Shitdisco and Whitey booked in for future weeks.

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CSS ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES
Buzz Band CSS, aka Cansei De Ser Sexy, have announced a series of spring tour dates to follow the release of their debut album, 'Cansei De Ser Sexy', on 5 Mar. Two of the dates take place as part of the Scottish Triptych Festival, more on which in a moment. Tickets for the CSS shows, meanwhile, go on sale 9am on Friday.

21 Apr: Dublin Ambassador
22 Apr: London Astoria
24 Apr: Manchester Ritz
25 Apr: Edinburgh Liquid Rooms
26 Apr: Glasgow Barrowlands

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TRIPTYCH FESTIVAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Triptych, I'm sure you will all remember, is the Scottish festival, now in its seventh year, that takes place across the three cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen in the Spring. Well, two acts confirmed for the event have just been announced, ahead of the unveiling of the full 2007 programme next month.

CSS, as aforementioned, are one of those acts, appearing in Edinburgh on 25 Apr and Glasgow on 26 Apr. Also announced is the rare appearance of composer Terry Riley, who will perform firstly his 1964 work 'In C' in Edinburgh's Usher Hall on 25 Apr, and secondly a reworking of his electronic piece 'A Rainbow in Curved Air (Revisited)', plus excerpts from a work-in-progress, 'The Book of Abbeyozzud', at Glasgow Tramway on 26 Apr. He will also appear at Aberdeen's Cowdray Hall on 27 Apr.

This year's event runs from 25 - 29 Apr. Ute Lemper has already been confirmed for a Triptych appearance, with a concert due to take place in Edinburgh on 29 Apr. See http://www.triptychfestival.com for info and tickets.

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HMV AXE SINGLE CHART RACK
Well, we pondered, momentarily, as to how those high street record shops would cope with a singles chart that featured tracks only currently available digitally (as a result of the much previously reported change in chart rules), given that those shops traditionally have racking which features a slot for each release that featured in the singles chart. And now we have an answer. They're going to get rid of the chart racks. Simple really. Well, that's what HMV are planning on doing, anyway.

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KOCH REJIG BANK PAYMENTS AS TAKEOVER TALKS CONTINUE
US independent Koch has announced it has entered into an agreement with its bank to put off any repayments due to be made at the end of last month to the end of March, at which time it will reduce its debts from $26 million to $15 million. Or something like that. As previously reported, a company called Clarke, currently a minority shareholder in Koch parent company Entertainment One, is reportedly looking to take over majority ownership of the whole company, and the firm's latest banking arrangements may be in preparation for that takeover.

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TOUCHSTONE TV LAUNCH INHOUSE MUSIC DEPARTMENT
US TV company Touchstone TV has announced it has appointed Dawn Soler to head up a new music department which will licence and commission music for its TV productions. Up until now the music supervision on Touchstone's shows has been handled by its sister company, Buena Vista, but that work will now be taken in house. The establishment of the new division comes as Touchstone rises in importance in the US TV market, and also recognises the importance of music, original or otherwise, in some of its hit shows, which include Desperate Housewives, Lost, Ugly Betty and Scrubs.

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WARNER AND MOTOROLA STRATEGICALLY ALLY
So, the Consumer Electronics Show is now in full swing in Vegas, and everyone's busy announcing their latest "strategic partnerships". First up Warner Music has confirmed a new global alliance with Motorola which will see the two companies working together to create new music based projects and "experiences" for mobile platforms. Though for projects and "experiences" you should probably read mobile downloads, ringtones and wallpapers featuring Warner artists.

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MTV AND TOSHIBA STRATEGICALLY ALLY
Elsewhere MTV and Toshiba have announce an alliance of the strategic kind with regard to the music TV network's digital music platform Urge. Toshiba will make Urge the preferred digital music store of its Toshiba Gigabeat players, while Urge will recommend users play their music on Toshiba devices.

MTV VP Of Digital Music, and GM of Urge, Michael Bloom said this: "We believe the combination of Urge and the Gigabeat places enormous entertainment power in consumers' hands and are happy to feature the Gigabeat as one of our preferred devices".

Of course, deals like this always have that underlying message of "we're buggered because we can't sell music that play on iPods, they're buggered because they can't make players compatible with iTunes, so we thought we'd be buggered together". But I'm possibly reading far too much into these things.

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FORD AND MICROSOFT STRATEGICALLY ALLY
Talking of techie firms desperately trying to compete with Apple in the digital music space, Microsoft have announced an alliance with Ford which will see the introduction of a new system which will enable Ford owners to transfer their digital music collection (and other data) off their home PC and into their cars.

This doesn't really have anything to do with Microsoft's recently launched iPod rival the Zune player because the new technology being used here is something different - called Sync, it's more than just a music player, incorporating various mobile and email functionality, and it will be iTunes compatible (basically it's a mini-PC which will sync to a home PC using Microsoft technology). However, Microsoft will presumably hope Sync will provide competition for iPod based in car stereo systems.

The car company said in a statement yesterday: "Ford owners will not need to worry about whether their car or truck is compatible with the latest phone or music player that hits the market. Sync seamlessly integrates the vehicle with the popular portable electronic devices of today and is upgradeable to support the devices and services of tomorrow".

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M6 AND MUSICBRIGADE ALLY TOO
Another alliance, though this one isn't timed to coincide with CES, although it does. French media giant M6 has announced it is working with digital aggregator Musicbrigade on a new online music platform. The platform, at http://www.m6musicbrigade.com, will launch on 16 Jan and will make 25,000 music videos, 2 million audio tracks and extensive editorial material available.

Confirming the partnership, M6 Web CEO Xavier Marvaldi told CMU: "We see the delivery of web based music content as a key part of our online strategy moving forward and are delighted to have partnered with Musicbrigade who are clearly the best positioned company in this area. Together we will be offering a high quality and extensive range of music audio and video".

Musicbrigade CEO Johan Englund added: "Musicbrigade could not wish for a better partner in France. M6's pioneer thinking, its understanding of music along with its established track-record as one of the most exciting media companies in Europe is a fantastic match for Musicbrigade's own agenda to become one of the top music destinations in Europe in 2007".

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VIRGIN RADIO CEO QUITS
The CEO of the radio division of Virgin Radio owner SMG has resigned after fewer than 18 months in the job. The official line is that Fru Hazlitt has "other things" in her life that she wants to achieve, making now the right time to move on. But insiders reckon Hazlitt's departure may have been hastened by the renewed merger talks between SMG and UTV - with the consensus being that should that merger go ahead Virgin Radio would be merged into UTV's radio division, run by Scott Taunton.

Any SMG / UTV merger may also hinder Hazlitt's long term aspirations - she was at one time tipped to take the overall CEO job at SMG, which is currently vacant following Andrew Flanagan's departure last July.

Virgin Radio Programme Director Paul Jackson, who was acting CEO of SMG's radio business prior to Hazlitt's arrival, will again take on the job, until a replacement can be found (or a merger takes place).

Confirming Hazlitt's departure, SMG acting CEO Donald Emslie told reporters: "[Fru's] been an inspirational leader for Virgin Radio and her knowledge of the radio and online world has taken the station to the next level. This has provided Paul Jackson with a very strong platform from which to continue to develop the station. Paul is amongst the best radio professionals in the industry."

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CLASSIC FM STATION MANAGER PROMOTED
Classic FM manager Darren Henley has been promoted to the job of MD at the GCap station (and recently launched sister station theJazz) which will mean as well as overseeing the station's on-air operations he will coordinate Classic FM's other spin off ventures, including the magazine, branded books and CD releases. Confirming the appointment GCap top bloke Ralph Bernard said these words: "Darren has played a pivotal role in establishing Classic as the UK's leading commercial radio station and extending this strong, successful brand into new, commercially attractive areas such as concerts, books, magazines and TV".

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DONNY TOURETTE CHALLENGED TO PUNCH UP
Veteran punk band Cockney Rejects have challenged Towers Of London singer/celebrity Big Brother star Donny Tourette to a boxing match with their own frontman, Jeff Turner.

On their official website, the band say: "We know there are a lot of people who are thoroughly pissed off with the bullshit being put about by those posh twats 'The Showers of London'. Now they pop up everywhere claiming to be the 'new' Cockney Rejects, even though tough hardman Donny Tourette was so tough and so hard that he ended up leggin' it over the wall after failing to go two rounds with Jade and her mum in the 'Big Brother' house. G&R Records are prepared to sponsor a bout between Donny Tourette and Mr Turner at West Ham Boxing Club to raise money for charity (the St. John's Ambulance being the obvious choice, as they will have the job of scraping him off the floor when it's over)".

Elsewhere, Towers Of London play their first show since Tourette's 'escape' from the Big Brother House when they play the 100 club on 10 Jan. Which is tomorrow. Tickets costing a tenner will be available on the door.

Donny, who, as previously reported, jumped the Big Brother fence rather than wait on fellow contestant Jade Goody told NME.com "I'm dying to go and play. If any good has come from doing 'Celebrity Big Brother', it's that I feel rejuvenated and I feel like, 'Fuck me, being in a band is the best thing in the world and being on TV sucks.'"

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PELLOW AND WATERMAN ARE BEST AT DUETS
Well, not the best in the world, possibly. Former Wet Wet Wet man Marti Pellow and actress Hannah Waterman have won the latest edition of the celebrity duet singing talent show Just The Two Of Us. They beat soulstress Beverly Knight and Strictly Come Dancing, er, dancer, Brendon Cole into second place with their performance of 'Have I Told You Lately'. Sarah Brightman and cricketer Mark Butcher came last, bless em.

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NOEL GALLAGHER IS RICH SHOCKER
Noel Gallagher has revealed in a new interview that he's very rich. Which I feel is a bit of an inappropriate thing to do. But what do I know?

Asked if he had lost enthusiasm for the music industry, he replied: "Yeah. But at the last count, I've got 14million quid in the bank account - that keeps me interested", adding, "By the way, if anyone's reading this - particularly the Inland Revenue - I haven't got 14million in the bank...not in cash anyway."

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TARA ON ROBBIE
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson has told the Daily Mirror that there is still "chemistry" between her and Robbie Williams following their ten day fling last year, though she refused to comment on whether they could be considered a couple in any way. She told the tabloid: "There's still chemistry between me and Robbie. Robbie texts me all the time now. I've known him for three years and we are still close. Robbie has to share himself with millions of people and I'm lucky he's got time for me". The tabloid also quoted a 'source' who confirmed the pair were "close", adding: "Whenever she's in LA, they meet up and spend a night together at his house. And Robbie always makes sure he comes to see Tara when he's in the UK". Wonder whether that will affect the odds William Hill are currently offering on Robbie getting married this year - currently 25:1? Or the odds on Robbie coming out this year - also currently 25:1. Guess who got given a William Hill odds sheet last night? You'll also get 25:1 odds on Kevin Federline getting a UK number one this year.

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WINEHOUSE DRUNK SHOCKER
Bless her, I have nothing against her, and in fact, I'm very fond of her latest album, but she clearly does like a drink. And I have nothing against people who like a drink. Unless it gets in the way of things like, well, a live set. Which, in this case, it may have. Or, it may not.

According to reports, on Saturday Amy Winehouse had to leave the stage at GAY after just one song because she needed to go and vomit. Her spokesman claims the singer was suffering from food poisoning, which may be the case, and in which case that's horrid. But sources suggest that the real reason for her sickness was that she'd spent the day drinking with Kelly Osbourne.

Promoters were also, presumably, feeling a bit sick, as they had to give gig-goers their money back.

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