CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 17th May
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- INDY Awards awarded
- I think my boss killed somebody: Spector trial update
- Podcasters Association confirm AIM deal
- Bo Diddley has a stroke
- Bee Gees get BMI icon award
- Hobbit to play Pop
- Manson video sex gossip
- Smashing Pumpkins artwork
- Digitalism single, album
- Art Brut, album, tour
- Ash headline Rip Curl
- Regina Spektor gigs
- Aguilera to play in China
- The O2 confirms a million presales
- Warner sue Imeem
- MBop boasts about things
- Napster losses up
- EMI sign DRM free deals with others
- Emap CEO departs
- Xfm considering all music daytime
- ITV looking to recruit Airey
- Pete Burns wants an assistant
- More evidence of R Kelly's legendary modesty
- Diaz on Timberlake
- Spears thanks fans for their prayers

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TOP BIT>>
It's going to be sunny and dry all day in Brighton. But, alas, on Monday. Between now and then it's cloud with occasional sunny breaks and showers. Which means that if you're heading down to The Great Escape convention, which kicks off in Brighton around about now, then I'd suggest taking a wooly hat and something waterproof because, with all the best will in the world, you're going to spend some of the next three days battling Brighton's own brand of wind and rain as you leg it from the venue hosting your very favourite band to the one hosting your second favourite band, which will inevitably be on the other side of town.

But in amongst the wind and rain you'll hopefully get to take in some brilliant events, from all the day time industry focused shenanigans, which include Howard Marks interviewing Shaun Ryder, plus Musically organised events on music and the media (today) and digital music (tomorrow), to the many many many many evening showcases, filled with all sorts of bands who have, at some point in the last nine years (almost to the day) been proclaimed CMU favourites.

Without wanting to provide you with a random list of the bands we're most excited about at this year's Great Escape, here's a random list of the bands we're most excited about at this year's Great Escape: CSS, Mr Hudson & The Library, The Magic Numbers, Art Brut, Jack Penate, Lethal Bizzle, The Holloways, The Victorian English Gentlemens Club, Battle, Mumm-ra, Four Day Hombre, Goose, Archie Bronson Outfit, South Central, The Noisettes, Good Shoes, Does It Offend You Yeah and everything that will be happening at the Sunday Best party at The Beach Club tomorrow night.

So excited are we about the last three, that you'll find quick quiz interviews with each of them (well, with Dub Pistol Barry Ashworth, who is DJing at the Sunday Best party, and Good Shoes and Does It Offend You, Yeah) on the website of our sister publication ThreeWeeks which, as I'm sure we've mentioned about eight billion times, is currently covering all things Brighton Festival (of which The Great Escape is part). You can find those interviews, plus a quick chit chat with one of the people behind The Great Escape, Olly Hodgson, at this here URL:

http://brighton.threeweeks.co.uk/genre_music.asp

If you're going to The Great Escape [a] have a great time, [b] don't forget the hat, [c] don't forget to pick up a copy of ThreeWeeks in Brighton (inside local free mag Latest 7) and take in some other bits of the Brighton Festival too.

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CMU AT THE BRIGHTON FESTIVAL

The Brighton Festival is fully under way with its brilliant programme of theatre, comedy, art, dance, talks, debate, cabaret and music, music music. CMU's sister publication, ThreeWeeks, is covering it all, and you can check the coverage at http://www.threeweeks.co.uk, with music reviews here each day in the CMU Daily. Look, here are some now:

Byron Wallen's Indigo
Brighton Jazz Club
Like a long shot of rum, this was music that flowed through the body in a warm, tingling rush of excitement. Adventurous and vibrant, the jazz roots of Indigo were deepened as the group found inspiration in traditions of the Sahara and beyond, with creator Byron Wallen shifting from fiery trumpet to flute and even the haunting sound of a conch shell. On drums, Tom Skinner wowed with a confident inventiveness that evoked both drum&bass style feverishness and afro-reggae techniques, while the cool composure of Tony Kofi on saxophone could not hide his creative zeal and power, just as bassist Larry Bartley's quiet determination only heightened the intense, bluesy rawness his fast moving fingers conjured up. Together, they were simply sublime.
Sussex Arts Club, 11 May, 8:00pm, £14.00 (£12.00), fringe pp26.
tw rating 4/5
[cs]

Seany Clarke and The Hedz
'Seany Clarke' sings from the belly, delivering funky pop songs that would be somewhat conventional, but for the fact that they roll off the lips too smoothly and are too deeply expressive. He confidently provided last-minute support with an acoustic set, before 'The Hedz' coaxed him into raising the pitch and tempo up a few notches with their snappy drums and bass guitar. The generally relationship-themed lyrics made the songs a little too similar and the band would have benefited greatly from some live brass, but any lack of innovation was saved by the wonderful voice sweeping through a magical venue. Catch Seany Clarke and The Hedz, next time you have the chance, to see if you're seduced by something naturally enriched in soul.
Joogleberry Playhouse, 11 May, 8:00pm, £7.00, fringe pp26.
tw rating 3/5
[md]

Viennese Masters
Music at Saint Michael's
The playing was almost flawless. The setting was utterly beautiful. Yet there just seemed to be something missing from this performance. The Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert sonatas were played professionally, but almost too much so. Whilst I cannot complain about the lightness of Raija Walker's touch, nor the nimble nature of her fingers, I can complain about the fact that she just seemed a little cold. There was not even a flicker of a smile, even when the applause rang on long after her performance ended. Now, I know the classical masters such as Mozart are all about calculated and rational music, but this does not mean it should be played without a touch of emotion. However, despite this complaint, this was an outstanding performance and deserving of praise. There are also some interesting looking offerings from the folk at Music At St Michael's throughout the rest of the festival.
St Michael and All Angels, 9 May 7:30pm, £7.00 (£5.00), fringe pp13.
tw rating 4/5
[sc]

ThreeWeeks in Brighton is only possible because of the kind support of Latest 7 http://www.latest7.co.uk - plus tune into the Latest radio show, every afternoon on Radio Reverb, listen online via http://www.latest7.co.uk/radio

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INDY AWARDS AWARDED
It was the previously reported first ever INDY Awards in London on Tuesday night, with the likes of Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock, BAFTA and Grammy Award winner Andy Matthews, The Specials' Neville Staple, Brit and Mercury Music Prize nominee Tom McRae, legendary rock producer Kevin Shirley, The Beat's Rankin Roger, BBC 1Xtra's Iyare and soul legend Omar all presenting gongs to the unsigned bands being commended on the night. Some of those unsigned bands performed at the awards, while guest star Marcella Detroit closed the main show with a rather impressive solo set.

As much previously reported, these were the unsigned band awards that took as their lead the opinions of independent gig and venue promoters from all over London, who each nominated the unsigned bands that had most impressed them in the last twelve months. The public than voted the long list of promoter nominated artists down to short lists for each genre category, from which a panel of industry types (including one CMU type, so a very competent, experienced and to-be-trusted panel, obviously) picked overall winners. And the winners they picked were as follows...

Best solo act: Joe Driscoll
Best Hip Hop Act: Supar Novar
Best New Wave / Progressive Act: Joana and the Wolf
Fan of the Year: Oli Bloxham - This Time Oblivion
Best Alternative Act: Suzerain
Best Soul/Funk Act: NuBrownSoul
Virgin Xtreme Best Indie Act: Marner Brown
Most Popular Venue: The Camden Underworld
Best Pop Rock Act: The Lightyears
Best Punk/Ska Act: Jag
Best Rock Act: Red Star Rebels
People's Choice: The Skallywags

Commenting on the inaugural awards, INDY Awards boss Jeremy Glover told CMU: "Tonight has been an incredible beginning for the INDY Music Awards. It's so exciting to be able to reward this phenomenal new talent and it's fantastic to see established artists like Marcella Detroit, Glen Matlock, Neville Staple, Chas Smash, Rankin Roger, Tom McRae, and Asian Dub Foundation showing their support. It's the independent venues, promoters and artists who keep the music industry alive and we can't wait to reward next years emerging talent!"

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I THINK MY BOSS KILLED SOMEBODY: SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE
Phil Spector's former chauffeur gave more testimony in the legendary producer's ongoing murder trial in LA yesterday. As previously reported, Adriano DeSouza told the court on Tuesday how he'd been in Spector's car behind the producer's mansion at the time actress Lana Clarkson was shot, and that shortly after he'd heard the gun shot his employer appeared at a side door, carrying a gun in a blood covered hand and proclaiming "I think I killed somebody".

Yesterday, with DeSouza still in the witness stand, the court was played a recording of the call DeSouza made to the emergency services shortly after the shooting, in which he told the operator "I think my boss killed somebody". When asked by the operator in the recording why he believed Spector has killed someone, the driver responded: "Because there is a lady on the floor and he have a gun in his hand".

DeSouza's testimony is an important part of the prosecution's case against Spector, so much so that it appeared in their opening address at the start of the trial, meaning the defence have already touched on how they intend to rebuke his claims that the first thing the producer said after Clarkson's shooting was "I think I killed somebody". They plan to convince the jury that DeSouza misheard Spector saying "I think somebody was killed" because [a] he had just woken up when Spector appeared and [b] he has a poor grasp of English.

The defence didn't have much time to start their questioning of the former chauffeur before the trial was adjourned for four and half days yesterday lunchtime, but what time they did have they used to begin questioning the witness's English. DeSouza, however, insisted he had no problems understanding Spector. Earlier he had said he began learning English at the age of 13.

Whether the defence will convince the jury that DeSouza's grasp of the language was such that he could have misheard Spector when they resume their questioning next week, remains to be seen. The case, as they say, continues.

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PODCASTERS ASSOCIATION CONFIRM AIM DEAL
The UK's Podcasters Association, for there is such a thing, has announced an agreement with the Association Of Independent Music which will give members of the former preferential access to the podcast licence offered by the latter. It is hoped the deal will mean more podcasters will apply for an AIM licence, which allows them to legitimately use up to 30,000 recordings from AIM affiliated labels in their podcasts (providing they also have a similar PRS/MCPS licence, of course).

Confirming the new arrangement, AIM chief Alison Wenham told CMU: "AIM's licence allows full tracks to be used in podcasts, which is what consumers and podcasters want. In the UKPA, we have a partner who appreciates that music should be properly licensed. There are opportunities for the independent sector and the pioneers of podcasting to use a library of over 30,000 full length tracks from some of the premier independent companies and artists, to come up with imaginative programming and give the fans what they want".

Dean Whitbread of the UKPA added: "This is a step forward for the whole of music podcasting in the UK. It raises the bar for music podcast programme making. Working with the AIM licence is about being responsible with other people's creative work. UKPA upholds the principle of maintaining the value chain of music, and making sure that the rights of musicians and artists, and the industry which brings their music to us, are respected. Podcasting can make a real impact on music sales, but this has to be done in a responsible way. UKPA is committed to working with AIM and other organisations and businesses to develop legal music podcasting in the UK".

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BO DIDDLEY HAS A STROKE
Veteran rock and roll icon Bo Diddley is in intensive care following a stroke. The 78 year old singer songwriter and guitarist was admitted to the Creighton University Medical Centre in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday after he became disorientated following a gig in Council Bluffs, Iowa, according to publicist Susan Clary. She added that tests indicated the stroke has affected the left side of his brain, which will impair speech and speech recognition, but said she had no other details on Diddley's ongoing condition.

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BEE GEES GET BMI ICON AWARD
Barry and Robin Gibb received their 'Icon Award' from the BMI at the US rights collecting society's annual Pop Music Awards earlier this week. It was announced back in March that the surviving Bee Gees would be presented with the outstanding achievement award at the BMI's annual pop event.

Other artists presented with awards at the BMI event included Kelly Clarkson and her songwriting partners Ben Moody and David Hodges who won Pop Song Of The Year for their track 'Because Of You'; AFI who took the Most Performed Song On College Radio prize for 'Miss Murder'; and James Blunt, Amanda Host and Sacha Skarbek who won Internet Song Of The Year for 'You're Beautiful'. Kara DioGuardi and Sean Garrett tied for the coveted Songwriter Of The Year prize both having three songs each in the Most Performed Songs Top 50, while Warner/Chappell won the main corporate prize, Pop Publisher Of The Year.

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HOBBIT TO PLAY POP
It's fair to say, I was unrealistically hoping it would be Cheggers. Ah well. According to a report in Variety, it's Lord Of The Rings star Elijah Wood who will play Iggy Pop in film about the rock star's life. I never knew Pop was such a shortarse. Actually, he's not as short as Elijah Wood, who, I am pretty confident, is 5'6. But Pop is 5'7 and 1/2 , which is shorter than me.

Anyway, the previously reported biopic, 'The Passenger', focuses on Pop's early career with The Stooges. James Newell Osterberg Jr (for that is his real name, don't you know) has "given his blessing" to the film project but won't be involved in the making of it.

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MANSON VIDEO SEX GOSSIP
The gossips are claiming that Marilyn Manson was really, truly having real sex with his girlfriend, actress Evan Rachel Wood, in the promo to his new song 'Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)', which was posted on the singer's official website this week.

The video depicts the pair wiggling around in bed, and a 'source' claims that they were really, really doing it: "They elected not to fake their intercourse. Though their genitals are concealed on-screen by bedclothes and each other's bodies, the video was originally intended to be shot in 3D, meaning their sex had to be shot from several different angles simultaneously. That meant the crew saw everything".

Manson's maintaining a dignified silence. Actually, he's not, he's refusing to confirm or deny anything, whilst sort of implying that they were, in fact, doing it. Here's what he told MTV: "Let's say there were some conservative people involved that got a little upset about things that were taking place, and there's been rumors back and forth, but I will not confirm or deny them. I did insist that Evan be paid the most that any actress has ever been paid in music-video history to be in this, even though she wouldn't have asked for it. There's no one else that could've been in it, because it was inspired by her".

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SMASHING PUMPKINS ARTWORK
The Smashing Pumpkins have revealed that the artwork for their upcoming comeback LP 'Zeitgeist', out 7 Jul, depicts an image of the Statue Of Liberty drowning in the sea, and has been designed by artist Shepard Fairey, who has previously designed covers for the likes of Black Eyed Peas and Interpol.

Fairey, explaining the significance of the image, said: "I think global warming is an issue that is currently relevant, time sensitive, and a symptom of the short-sightedness of the US. As a broader metaphor, the drowning Statue of Liberty, a revered icon of the US, symbolizes the eminent demise of many of the ideals upon which the nation was founded. Civil liberties, freedom of speech, privacy, etc have been decreasing since 9/11. The sun in the image could either be setting or rising and this ambiguity shows that there is still hope to turn things around."

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DIGITALISM SINGLE, ALBUM
The new single from the rather fine, rather bleepy Digitalism will be released on 28 May, preceding the release of debut album 'Idealism' on 11 Jun, which is out a little later than some of the previous reports I've read, so perhaps it's been pushed back a little. If you're yet to enjoy this electro duo you could check them out at http://www.myspace.com/digitalism, or make a mental note to catch their sets at Glastonbury, Wireless, V, T In The Park or Bestival later this year. Or when they support Daft Punk and LCD Soundsystem next month.

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ART BRUT, ALBUM, TOUR
Talking of exciting June releases, Art Brut have confirmed their next album, their first for Mute, 'It's A Bit Complicated?', which will be released on 25 Jun. And hurrah to that. Obviously you're all eager to see that tracklisting, so brace yourselves, because here it is...

Pump Up The Volume
Direct Hit
St. Pauli
People In Love
Late Sunday Evening
I Will Survive
Post Soothing Out
Blame It On The Trains
Sound Of The Summer
Nag Nag Nag Nag
Jealous Guy

The album release will be preceded by the following headline tour...

13 Jun: London Astoria
14 Jun: Birmingham Academy 2
15 Jun: Manchester Academy 3
16 Jun: Glasgow Oran Mor
18 Jun: Leeds Cockpit

Press info from Darling.

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ASH HEADLINE RIP CURL
Ash are set to headline surf and music festival Rip Curl Boardmasters 07, which takes place in Newquay on 10 Aug. Also on the music bill for the event are the likes of Paolo Nutini, Guillemots and Angus & Julia Stone.

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REGINA SPEKTOR GIGS
Regina Spektor has announced four UK dates for September, including her appearance at Scotland's Connect Festival. Here are the dates:

2 Sep: Scotland Connect Festival
4 Sep: Liverpool Academy
5 Sep: Birmingham Academy
7 Sep: London Royal Festival Hall

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AGUILERA TO PLAY IN CHINA
Christina Aguilera has been given the go-ahead by Chinese authorities for a concert in Shanghai in June. As previously reported, the Chinese government are known for their protective measures when it comes to entertainment - you'll remember that The Rolling Stones censored their own lyrics for their recent performance in the country, following a request from the ministry of culture there.

Aguilera's image has, of course, got a bit less sexually charged of late, so that's probably why it's okay - but she will still have to let the authorities know exactly what she will perform, and the lyrics, so that the Chinese government can then get her to censor anything they don't like. Reuters quote someone, I don't know who, as saying: "not every foreign artist has the luck to win Beijing's approval and Christina's sexy performance was once a concern when applying to the regulators".

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THE O2 CONFIRMS A MILLION PRESALES
Bosses of the new O2 arena in London, the all new Millennium Dome of course, which is due to reopen on 24 Jun, have confirmed they have already sold over a million advance tickets for upcoming concerts. Among the concerts already booking at the new 20,000 capacity venue, which has undergone a £600 million refit ahead of its relaunch, are Barbra Streisand, Justin Timberlake, Take That, The Rolling Stones, Prince and Bon Jovi, the latter of whom will open the revamped venue.

Confirming that over a million tickets had already been sold, David Campbell of The 02 owners AEG Europe told reporters: "We've got London's newest state-of-the-art venue, with the world's most exciting artists all wanting to perform here - and the public flocking to see them. I know that when people experience the O2 they'll come back again and again to enjoy more world-class concerts, events and exhibitions".

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WARNER SUE IMEEM
More litigation against social networking sites whose members primarily socially network by illegally sharing copyright content. This time it's Warner Music suing Imeem, which is a bit of a cross between MySpace and YouTube. The lawsuit claims Imeem have completely failed to introduce any filtering technology that controls, at least a little, the distribution of unauthorised content via their online platform, as well as making accusations that the social networking company "actively facilitates copyright infringement".

However, the new lawsuit comes just a few weeks after Imeem announced it had done a deal with SnoCap which will seemingly see the social network platform use their song tracking technology which, in theory at least, allows record companies to either block their content or receive a share of any ad revenue it helps generate. It's not clear how Warner's lawsuit squares with that commitment.

Similar lawsuits against similar content sharing networks are, of course, also ongoing, including Universal Music's suit against MySpace and Viacom's high profile litigation against YouTube.

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MBOP BOASTS ABOUT THINGS
Independent download store MBop has announced that they are now shifting 100,000 downloads a month, that their customer database now counts 12 million domestic residents and that they have just signed new licensing deals with V2 and Beggars Banquet, which isn't bad for a digital music service I hadn't ever actually visited until I copied http://www.MbopMegastore.com into my browser just there then.

The company's boss Paul Balance told CMU: "I am incredibly proud of my huge team, together we have made an unprecedented ascent into the UK music market, we are on the cusp of a great wave. Our customer base now enables us, a small British company, to give Napster and iTunes an interesting battle. Month after month we have climbed beyond measure, now we are ready to step centre stage".

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NAPSTER LOSSES UP
Talking of Napster, which Paul was, just there, Napster Inc has reported that its losses in the quarter up till 31 Mar were larger than the same quarter last year - up from $5.4 million to $8.5 million - though that quarter last year did benefit from gains from the sale of the company's consumer software division, so it is possibly a foolish comparison to make. Nevertheless, the digital music subscription company also issued a lower-than-expected revenue outlook for the coming year, sending their share price down 9-10%. Commenting on the latest financials, Napster chief Chris Gorog confirmed the company was still considering merger and acquisition options, though at the same time as pursuing its own stand alone business strategy.

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EMI SIGN DRM FREE DEALS WITH OTHERS
EMI yesterday confirmed that not only will it be making its previously reported DRM free catalogue of digital music available by the previously reported new Amazon MP3 download store (when it launches later this year), but that it has also signed DRM-free distribution deals with VirginMega in France and several Scandinavian services, including Telenor, Musicbrigade, Inprodicon Basepoint Media, Aspiro and Paragallo. Like its deal with iTunes, the DRM free music available via other platforms will also come in a higher sound quality format, helping to justify charging a higher price for it - though, that said, it's not clear what price the other services plan to charge for the DRM free major label content.

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EMAP CEO DEPARTS
EMAP CEO Tom Moloney has left the company somewhat abruptly "by mutual agreement". The departure comes after months of speculation as to Moloney's future at the media conglom after they admitted earlier in the year that profits for the financial year would be at the bottom end of expectations. Up until now, though, the EMAP board have insisted they were behind their top man.

With no immediate replacement to hand, the group's chairman, Alun Cathcart, will take on day to day responsibility for running the media firm until a new CEO can be recruited, a process that is likely to take up to three months.

According to The Guardian, city types are saying that a CEO-less EMAP will be much more susceptible to an aggressive takeover, possibly by one or another of the private equity groups who would most likely split up the company's TV/radio, consumer magazine and b2b magazine businesses - the latter being the most attractive to investment types, the b2b magazine sector being less threatened by the growth of digital and fluctuations in the advertising market.

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XFM CONSIDERING ALL MUSIC DAYTIME
This is interesting. Xfm are expected to announce another schedule revamp, and gossipers are gossiping that the alternative station will drop presenters completely between breakfast and drive time in a radical move to boost daytime listening. If those plans went ahead the station would air back to back music between 10am and 4pm. Commenting on those rumours, a spokeswoman for Xfm parent GCap told the Guardian: "It is purely speculation at the moment. No formal announcement has been made".

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ITV LOOKING TO RECRUIT AIREY
ITV are reportedly looking to recruit former Channel 5 and Sky chief Dawn Airey who, as previously reported, recently quit her last job, running new multi-media company Iostar, after just eight days, saying that she had been misled about the nature of that company and their funding. Word has it ITV chairman Michael Grade thinks Airey would bring the right kind of fresh ideas to his company to help him in his bid to turn round the commercial broadcaster's fortunes.

Iostar, meanwhile, has called in the receivers following Airey's high profile departure. They announced earlier this week: "The board of Iostar has considered a number of options to continue the business according to a revised business plan following its funding difficulties and the resignation of its chief executive. However, it has not proved possible to implement such plans in the time available to the board having regard to the current financial position of the company. Accordingly, the directors have seen no alternative but to take immediate action to place the company into liquidation".

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PETE BURNS WANTS AN ASSISTANT
Are you crazy? Crazy enough to want to be Pete Burns' PA as part of his new series on Living? Really? You're that crazy? Okay, get ye down to Mary Ward House Conference and Exhibition Centre, 5 - 7 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9SN, this Saturday (19 May), for an interview with the man himself. Not sure if you're supposed to arrange it in advance, but here's an email address and phone number you can try if you're interested enough. Mentalist. Telephone 020 7428 3478, email: pa@worldofwonder.co.uk.

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MORE EVIDENCE OF R KELLY'S LEGENDARY MODESTY
R Kelly has been talking about how great he is, again. Glad I don't know him, it must be murder listening to this shit all the time. The singer is quoted by Hip Hop Soul magazine as saying: "My greatest competition is, well, me... I'm the Ali of today. I'm the Marvin Gaye of today. I'm the Bob Marley of today. I'm the Martin Luther King, or all the other greats that have come before us. And a lot of people are starting to realise that now".

R Kelly is, of course, due in court at some point soon over child pornography charges.

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DIAZ ON TIMBERLAKE
Cameron Diaz has spoken to chat show host Ellen DeGeneres about her break-up with Justin Timberlake, and insists that the pair are still on good terms.

The actress said: "I love how people just expect when people break-up to hate each other but, you know the great thing is that Justin and I have lived extraordinary lives. We had a wonderful opportunity to live an extraordinary life together for a period of time and now we live an extraordinary life not the same way together but we're still in each other's lives. When you care about somebody you just want them to be happy and that's what we both are now."

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SPEARS THANKS FANS FOR THEIR PRAYERS
And speaking of Justin Timberlake's exes, Britney Spears has posted a message on her website thanking fans for praying for her during her recent mad stage. Some would say she's still in a mad stage, talking about "looking to the higher power" and shit, but they'd just be miserable old atheists like me.

The singer wrote: "I am so blessed that you care enough about me to be concerned and will continue to live in this brighter state with all of you by my side during this trying time. We are all the lights of the world and we all need to continually inspire others and look to the higher power. You are all in my prayers. Godspeed."

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