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TODAY'S NEWS

Winehouse cross with Blake, Blake still wants to be married

Britney's boy rushed to hospital
Coldplay win top selling act award
Makeba dies, Mandela pays tribute
Conservationists call for Tin Pan Alley to be protected
Gary Glitter removed from GCSE coursework listening list
EP review: Jay Jay Pistolet - Happy Birthday To You EP (Stiff Records)
GNR offer free track with Chinese Democracy downloads
Franz Ferdinand on pop production matters
Kitty, Daisy, Lewis, double, A, side
Rolf Harris's wobble board features on new film
Cornell depressed by Led Zeppelin tour talk
Ultravox reunion planned
Dodgy tour
Clash get social - new bands showcase
Music Week get social - new bands showcase
Album review: Essie Jain - The Inbetween (The Leaf Label)
Viagogo strike deal with Lloyd Webber production company
IBM get injunction to stop appointment of new iPod chief
Former Warner man launches broadcast talent agency
Kangaroo chief quits
Sky to offer new online telly subscription package
Ofcom put Kerrang! on notice over rigged competition
Outrage over White's X-Factor departure, apparently
Kylie not invited to Jason's wedding
McCartney would like to sing to Mrs Obama
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TUESDAY 11TH NOVEMBER

CMU SOCIAL: EPISODE SEVEN
So, we are just hours away from the next edition of the CMU Social, which is all very exciting. It all kicks off at 7pm at 229 and you lovely CMU Daily readers get in for free if you email your names to social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk. It's that simple.

Tonight, we have live sets from two brilliant new acts, Tim Ten Yen and Matt Finucane, who we'll tell you more about in a second. Early birds can also take advantage of the happy hour at the bar and reasonably-priced food, while you fill out this months CMU Pop Quiz, which could win you a whole crate of beer. And, of course, the CMU:DJs will be spinning the best new tunes all night.


 

CMU ON TIM TEN YEN:
Tim Ten Yen, who has dubbed himself the "sensational singing salaryman", attires himself in a smart suit and takes to the stage to perform brilliant risqué pop. Adored for his ability to entertain live, thanks in part to his incredible dancing, he has spawned an ever-growing fanbase. His somewhat off the wall approach shows that he knows nothing should be taken too seriously. His album 'Everything Beautiful Reminds Me Of You' was released by Pointy Records on 20 Oct.

www.myspace.com/timtenyen

CMU ON MATT FINUCANE:
Former front man of cult band Empty Vessels, Matt Finucane is the latest one-man-and-a-guitar sensation to spring from the underbelly of London's music scene. With a love of Lou Reed's 'Berlin' and a "deep distrust of the traditional singer-songwriter tag", Matt's sound is "shot through with melancholia, his attempts to clamber in the head of literary icons, and the darkness of his late night adventures at the bottom of a bottle". Matt released his debut solo EP 'Episodes' on 20 Oct.

www.myspace.com/mattfinucane

Sound good? Of course it does. It is good. Great, in fact. So, if you haven't already, send an email over to social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk with the names you want to put on the guestlist. And if you want to enter the Pop Quiz as a company, let us know and we'll reserve you a table.

 

IT'S CMU'S UNSIGNED MONTH
We here at CMU have teamed up with our good friends at MUZU TV to discover and champion some of the best unsigned and self-releasing artists in the UK and Ireland. Each day this month we will be tipping another unsigned band which has truly impressed the CMU team. For more info and to check out all the bands we've tipped so far, go to www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/unsigned

SNAP OF THE DAY: DISCONNECT 4
From Galway, Ireland, Disconnect 4 are your second unsigned SNAP this week and proprietors of the best hair cuts in this column for some time. Honestly, they're really great. Musically they rather good too, plying through hundreds of skittering cymbals, 80s pop progressions and plenty of synthesizer on 'One For The Team' - all at breakneck speed. Undoubtedly influenced by The Cure and the more recent explosion of The Killers, they've already racked up a number of excellent support slots back home, including one with Birmingham dullards The Twang, but don't hold that against them. Head to their MUZU page for live videos and photos of the aforementioned excellent hair.

Check www.muzu.tv/disconnect4 or in the Unsigned Month playlist on the CMU-Tube at www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/tube

 
 

 



Don't forget you can now check out CMU favourites old and new on CMU-Tube, our online music video service powered by MUZU.

Set up your own MUZU channel, select tracks from the MUZU catalogue, and embed your own MUZU Player on your own website or blog - simple. Sign up here.

 

 

OFFICE SPACE IN SHOREDITCH, AVAILABLE FROM JANUARY
Self-contained office space available in the centre of Shoreditch, on the corner of Shoreditch High Street and Great Eastern Street, next to the CMU HQ. 5-8 minutes walk from Liverpool Street and Old Street tube stations. A top floor workspace with plenty of natural light in an exciting neighbourhood that is home to numerous music, media, PR and creative companies. 764 square feet, with room for 15-20 desks plus its own kitchen area and adjacent toilets. £1000 per month plus service charge and business rates. Includes heating, water and electrics. Available from January 2009 for minimum of six months. For more information contact ashka@unicornjobs.com.

 

 

WINEHOUSE CROSS WITH BLAKE, BLAKE STILL WANTS TO BE MARRIED
Following yesterday's news that Amy Winehouse is allegedly saying she wants to divorce husband Blake Fielder-Civil, further reports suggest that there might be a specific reason for it.

According to Closer magazine, the singer's mother Janis says that her daughter is devastated because Fielder-Civil failed to tell her that he was about to be released from prison after twelve months of incarceration. It's also been suggested that he has since asked Amy to foot the £30k bill for his stay in rehab, and that she's refused.

Janis is quoted as saying: "What sort of husband doesn't tell his wife that he's being released? That says it all really, doesn't it? I don't know about Blake asking Amy for money, but it wouldn't surprise me. I'm glad she said no". She adds that whilst he was in prison, he would phone his wife all the time and put pressure on her to do things for him, saying: "He'd say things like 'If you love me you'd do this or that.' He'd... give her grief about things. Love is blind. I just hope she's beginning to see what he's really like now".

Fielder-Civil, meanwhile, is insistent that his marriage isn't over, according to reports, and has assured reporters that his relationship with Winehouse is healthy.

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BRITNEY'S BOY RUSHED TO HOSPITAL
Britney Spears rushed her younger son Jayden James to hospital at the weekend following a suspected seizure. The two year old was taken to Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Centre on Sunday after apparently collapsing at the singer's family home in Kentwood, Louisiana, and was reportedly kept in overnight for observation. Jayden's father Kevin Federline was said to be planning to fly to his side.

The Daily Mail quote a source as saying: "One minute Britney and her sons were relaxing and enjoying their first visit to Kentwood in months, and the next minute Jayden had fallen ill. He was vague and unresponsive so Britney dialled an ambulance. But she was told it would take half an hour to arrive, and she was best trying to get Jayden to the hospital herself. Jayden James had to be kept in hospital overnight for observations. We don't yet know what's wrong with him. Britney was insistent that [she] wouldn't leave him. She asked for a bed to be made up in the same room so she could be there at his side".

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COLDPLAY WIN TOP SELLING ACT AWARD
Coldplay have been confirmed as the world's top selling act of the moment at the World Music Awards in Monaco, the annual awards based on global record sales as provided by the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry.

Chris Martin et al won both the overall Top Selling Act prize as well as the award for Rock Act Of The Year, helped in no small part by their chart topping album 'Viva La Vida'. Other best sellers recognised at the awards include Leona Lewis, who was named Best Pop Female and Best New Act, and Amy Winehouse who won the Female Pop/Rock Award, making it quite a good night for British music.

Needless to say, the US was rather well represented also, with Kid Rock winning Best Pop Male, Alicia Keys R&B Artist, and Lil Wayne Best Hip Hop whilst Akon won the Biggest Internet Artist Of The Year prize.

Some special prizes were also handed out. An Outstanding Contribution prize went to Beyonce, who performed at the awards show, while Mariah Carey got a Special Achievement Prize and Ringo Starr picked up the Diamond Award, presented to artists who have sold over 100 million albums, on behalf of the Beatles - presumably he accepted the gong with lots of peace and love.

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MAKEBA DIES, MANDELA PAYS TRIBUTE
Legendary South African songstress Miriam Makeba, as you may already have heard, has died at the age of 76, soon after performing at a concert in Italy. Nelson Mandela has paid tribute to the singer, who spent three decades exiled from her home country, saying: "She richly deserved the title of Mama Afrika. Her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us. Even after she returned home she continued to use her name to make a difference by mentoring musicians and supporting struggling young women".

South Africa's governing African National Congress (ANC) also paid tribute, Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma saying: "Throughout her life, Mama Makeba communicated a positive message to the world about the struggle of the people of South Africa and the certainty of victory over the dark forces of apartheid and colonialism through the art of song".

Makeba, who was born in Johannesburg, began her singing career in the fifties and gained notoriety on an international level when she toured the US in 1959, and performed at JFK's birthday party in 1962. Not long after this, her passport was revoked because she appeared in an anti-apartheid documentary, and she did not return home until Nelson Mandela was released from Prison back in 1990.

The first black African woman to win a Grammy Award, she once said of her material, which incorporated traditional and modern styles: "You sing about those things that surround you. Our surrounding has always been that of suffering from apartheid and the racism that exists in our country. So our music has to be affected by all that". She announced that she was retiring three years ago, but never really managed to stop performing.

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CONSERVATIONISTS CALL FOR TIN PAN ALLEY TO BE PROTECTED
The original Tin Pan Alley, the corner of Manhattan that housed many of America's early music publishers in the late nineteenth century and which became synonymous with the country's songwriting community for much of the early twentieth century, could be knocked down as part of plans to redevelop West 28th Street.

The block of buildings that constitute Tin Pan Alley have actually been under threat for a while, but conservationists are kicking up a new fuss about it all after initial plans to build a new tower block on the site fell through because of the credit crunch. They hope to secure city landmark status for the buildings so that no future development plans can include their demolition.

Simon Bankoff of New York's Historic Districts Council told reporters recently: "It's a very, very disturbing prospect. These buildings are incredibly significant to the development of New York City. They helped launch the careers of songwriters and musicians who are still popular today. The notion of Tin Pan Alley entered into our idea of New York and our idea of America. The buildings deserve to be protected".

A spokesman for New York's Landmarks Preservation Commission said they were looking into whether Tin Pan Alley would be eligible for protection.

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GARY GLITTER REMOVED FROM GCSE COURSEWORK LISTENING LIST
It's an interesting one this - should we suddenly reject an artist's art if the artist becomes disgraced through one misdemeanour or another? Perhaps UK exam board AQA could ask that question of GCSE students next summer, though they do seem to have already answered it themselves - the answer seemingly being "oh yes".

AQA have removed Gary Glitter's hit 'I'm The Leader Of The Gang' off the "related listening" list of their music GCSE syllabus after someone pointed out the horrific dangers of teenagers listening to music created by a convicted paedophile. I mean, we all know how a good song can touch people, just imagine what a paedophile's song might do.

AQA removed the song off the "related listening" list after complaints from teaching bodies, politicians and the Sun. The tabloid quoted one unnamed deputy head teacher who said: "He's a convicted paedophile jailed for sexually abusing kids. It's completely inappropriate to recommend him as listening material. Boys and girls of 15 or 16 who select this song will go straight to the internet to find Glitter's music".

Dr John Dunford, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, also criticised the inclusion of the song on the study list, telling reporters: "Schools registered with this examination board depend on the board to choose appropriate texts, and will have been dismayed at the choice of a Gary Glitter song. No teacher should be in the position of having to discuss this man's work with the young people in their class, and all teachers will have rejected the idea of using this material. I welcome the withdrawal of this song, which should never have been included in the first place".

Campaigners also say that the exam board listing might lead to students buying copies of Glitter's music which would, of course, earn him royalties. As previously reported, objections to Glitter earning off his back catalogue were recently raised when it was revealed one of his songs had been used in a Hewlett Packard advert. The good news on that front, of course, is that most school kids would probably steal his music off P2P anyway, so there's probably no danger of him earning off his appearance on the syllabus.

Though he's no longer on it anyway - AQA have confirmed they are reissuing their Music GCSE course work outlines sans the paedophile. A spokesman for the exam board told reporters: "We regret any offence that has been caused by its inclusion and we will be contacting our centres and recalling the paper".

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EP REVIEW: Jay Jay Pistolet - Happy Birthday To You EP (Stiff Records)
Jay Jay Pistolet is 21 year-old Justin Hayward Young. He is next in that shuffling line of soft-hearted and subdued British singer-songwriters who write songs of the heart rather than the head, and whose instruments of choice are busted old acoustic guitars, toy xylophones and ukuleles. Produced by Charlie Fink of Noah And The Whale, 'Happy Birthday To You' is a gentle and extremely charming four-track debut EP that perfectly showcases Jay Jay's soothing and tender vocal stylings. Stand out track 'Always On My Way Back Home' is a dulcet ode where Jay Jay claims his kind is a dying breed - funny that, when there seems to have been a sudden flux of navel-gazing sensitive songbirds who could likely give Conor Oberst a run for his tear-sodden money. But when the lyrics are this humble and the voice is this raw, there is no doubt that in his sadness Jay Jay will cause many a listener to fall in love with him. TW
Release Date: 17 Nov
Press Contact: Scruffy Bird [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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GNR OFFER FREE TRACK WITH CHINESE DEMOCRACY DOWNLOADS
Guns n Roses are giving away a free bonus track to fans who pre-order 'Chinese Democracy' from iTunes. And that's it, really. Go and pre-order the long, long, long awaited album, out 24 Nov, if you want to instantly receive the free song.

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FRANZ FERDINAND ON POP PRODUCTION MATTERS
Franz Ferdinand have said that their sessions with Brian Higgins, who produces the likes of Girls Aloud and Sugababes, didn't go so well. They decided to work with him to make a change to their usual sound, but it didn't work, and Dan Carey in the end produced 'Tonight: Franz Ferdinand' .

The band's Nick McCarthy said of the Higgins collaboration: "It never really took off to be honest - we only went down there and recorded one song in the end. We thought it'd be great to collaborate with a total 'pop' producer but we realised pretty quickly that it's not our world; we're not really a 'pop' band. But we took some great things away from it, I really enjoyed working with Brian, he's an amazing guy".

The new LP is out on 26 Jan.

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KITTY, DAISY, LEWIS, DOUBLE, A, SIDE
The fabulous Kitty Daisy & Lewis release their next single, a double a-side featuring '(Baby) Hold Me Tight' and 'Buggin Blues', on 15 Dec via Sunday Best Recordings. The first track is brand new, while 'Buggin Blues' is an album favourite. Press info from Toast.

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ROLF HARRIS'S WOBBLE BOARD FEATURES ON NEW FILM
Rolf Harris's wobble board sound is to appear on Baz Luhrmann's new film, 'Australia', which stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. Harris, whose first international hit 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down' featured the 'instrument', says: "It's amazing to get the wobble board on the film. They already had the didgeridoo on there. Apparently Baz Luhrmann suddenly said, 'this is crazy, we haven't got the iconic sound of Rolf Harris's wobble board on the music, we must be mad'. I've sent the recording of the wobble board back and they were thrilled to bits".

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CORNELL DEPRESSED BY LED ZEPPELIN TOUR TALK
Yeah, me too. Chris Cornell, one of those singers whose name has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Robert Plant on a much rumoured to be happening Led Zeppelin tour, has said he finds the idea of a such a jaunt pretty depressing.

The former Soundgarden/Audioslave star says: "I would never do anything like that whether I were approached or not. It just doesn't make any sense to me at all. I would not want to go see me performing Led Zeppelin songs with the two other guys that used to be in a band called Led Zeppelin while Robert Plant is out somewhere touring. That's not a ticket I would buy. God bless 'em, but that's not Led Zeppelin. I find it completely depressing. I'd never do anything like that. I mean just out of respect to the legacy of the band".

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ULTRAVOX REUNION PLANNED
Meanwhile, Ultravox are definitely going to do a reunion tour, because they've announced fourteen dates for next year. Warren Cann, Chris Cross, Billy Currie and singer Midge Ure will appear at the gigs, which kick off on 10 April.

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DODGY TOUR
Dates have been confirmed for a Metro-organised tour headlined by the recently(ish) reunited Dodgy and also featuring some rather fine new bands too. First up support wise are the winners of the Metro's own battle of the bands type competition, ENL, while also appearing will be one of our Unsigned Month recommendations, the Panama Kings, alongside Olympus Mons and The Underhills.

The new tour comes as the band release a brand new song, 'Down In The Flood', which will be available on CD on the tour or free as a download via their website www.dodgyology.com.

Here's the tour dates

27 Nov: Birmingham Barfly (+ Panama Kings)
28 Nov: York Fibbers (+ Olympus Mons)
29 Nov: Aberdeen Moshulu (+ The Underhills)
1 Dec: Glasgow Barfly (+ Hazey Janes)
2 Dec: Liverpool Barfly (+ Panama Kings)
4 Dec: London (+ Panama Kings)
5 Dec: Cardiff Barfly (+ Olympus Mons)
6 Dec: Northampton Picturedrome (+ Panama Kings)
7 Dec: Leicester The Musician (+ The Falling Leaves and The Carnabys)

Oh, and while we're talking Dodgy, do go and check out Dodgy drummer Mathew Priest's response to that "no more fan mail" video message recorded by Ringo Starr last month, especially if you're now at a loss of where to sent the tat you'd got lined up to send the Beatles drummer...

uk.youtube.com/watch?v=c96jSDK8bpY&watch_respons

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CLASH GET SOCIAL - NEW BANDS SHOWCASE
Hey, here's a good idea, why not organise a London band showcase event with the word 'social' in the title? That's a brilliant idea. The latest live outing from the guys at Clash magazine is the Clash Saturday Social, which will take place at the Notting Hill Arts Club on Saturday 13 Dec from 4-9pm and feature four live bands, including Cats In Paris and a secret headliner. Entry is free, so get it in your diary.

Meanwhile, if it's band showcases with the word 'social' in their name that get you excited, don't forget the CMU Social, tonight at 7pm at 229 featuring Tim Ten Yen and Matt Finucane. It's free too, providing you email your name to social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk before 3pm.

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MUSIC WEEK GET SOCIAL - NEW BANDS SHOWCASE
Hey, here's a good idea, a regular new band showcase staged by a media aimed at the music business. Controversial, but very clever. Yes, Music Week are turning their new band feature Unearthed into a live showcase night, which will take place at Rough Trade East in London on 9 Dec, featuring new EMI signings Hockey. It's part of the trade magazine's plans to expand its recently launched Unearthed brand over the next year.

Music Week Talent Editor Stuart Clarke says this: "Unearthed is an independent platform for quality artists, signed and unsigned, to showcase to industry. The partnership with Rough Trade also gives all of us a good excuse to get back into music retail".

Meanwhile, if it's new band showcases organised by media aimed at the music business that get you excited, don't forget the CMU Social, tonight at 7pm at 229 featuring Tim Ten Yen and Matt Finucane. It's free to get in don't forget, providing you email your name to social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk before 3pm.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Essie Jain - The Inbetween (The Leaf Label)
If there was one label you wouldn't have bet on releasing an album of Joni Mitchell-esque piano-led chamber pop, it would be Leaf, but 'The Inbetween' is not only one of the experimental label's most accessible releases, it's also one of their best. Essie Jain is a New York based Londoner with a pristine and versatile voice, who works with a variety of musicians who give colour to her vocals with simple but eclectic instrumentation. Opener 'Eavesdrop' is actually the best thing here - an impossibly tender ballad built around a plaintive piano refrain and Jain's expressive crystalline vocals. Variety immediately follows: 'Here We Go' is upbeat and stirring whilst 'I Ask You' is a lonesome bluesy retreat with wintry guitar from Patrick Glynn. 'The Rights', meanwhile is a positively theatrical delight. Accomplished songwriting and evocative arrangements all make 'The Inbetween' a magical listen at times. Recommended. MS
Release Date: 17 Nov
Press Contact: The Leaf Label IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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VIAGOGO STRIKE DEAL WITH LLOYD WEBBER PRODUCTION COMPANY
Secondary ticketing firm Viagogo has won another official ticketing contract - this time to provide premium ticketing services for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group, which operates theatres and stages shows in London's West End. Currently RUG productions in London include The Sound of Music, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, and The Phantom Of The Opera.

Viagogo is one of the secondary ticketing outlets that has been working hard to win official ticketing contracts, whether that be by selling premium ticket packages on behalf of promoters, as they will for RUG, or by being the "approved secondary ticket site" for tours and shows. Sometimes they do both, as with their deal with the promoter's of the European leg of Madonna's 'Sticky And Sweet' tour.

Some promoters, of course, are still very anti the resale of tickets to their shows via online auction services like Viagogo and are unwilling to partner with such sites on legit ticketing projects. However, as more promoters do so, it does give the likes of Viagogo more legitimacy in the live music space.

Confirming the RUG deal, Viagogo chief Eric Baker told Billboard: "This allows us to sell some of the best seats which, for various reasons, are not normally available to the general public. The agreement for the first time opens up the UK theatre space to the secondary-ticketing sector".

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IBM GET INJUNCTION TO STOP APPOINTMENT OF NEW IPOD CHIEF
The move of IBM executive Mark Papermaster to Apple has been blocked by his former employer on the grounds it breaches a non-compete clause in his employment contract. IBM have taken legal action to stop Papermaster joining Apple, where he is expected to take over from the departing Tony Fadell, the Apple man credited with masterminding the iPod and iPhone.

Papermaster argues that the non-compete clause is not relevant because IBM do not manufacture or market consumer electronic products like the iPod or iPhone. But a US judge has issued an initial injunction on behalf of IBM to stop the move pending further discussions.

The injunction puts both Papermaster and Apple in a temporary state of limbo, the latter lacking a leader for its crucial Devices Hardware Engineering unit. It's now thought Apple want Papermaster because of his knowledge on the never dull topic of "chip-level efficiency", which could help reinvigorate both the iPhone and iPod for future releases.

It's not clear how long IBM could stop Papermaster from joining their rivals.

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FORMER WARNER MAN LAUNCHES BROADCAST TALENT AGENCY
Andy Hipkiss, formerly Director Of Talent at production company USP Content and National Radio Promotions Manager at Warner Brothers, has launched a new London-based talent management company called Triple A Media, which will specialise in broadcast media talent, both telly and radio.

Although a new company, Triple A launches with an impressive roster of talent, including radio names like Christian O'Connell, Ian Camfield, Lucio, Shaun Keavney and Sky presenters Simon Thomas, Tony Wrighton, Sam Matterface and Max Rushden.

Confirming his new enterprise, Hipkiss told CMU: "I'm really excited that Triple A Media's work will allow me to focus on the most enjoyable elements of my last decade in the entertainment media. With industry expertise, influential contacts and some remarkable talent, Triple A Media is perfectly focused to further the careers of our clients".

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KANGAROO CHIEF QUITS
Former BBC digital chief Ashley Highfield has quit as the CEO of Kangaroo, the new joint TV-on-demand venture from BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4.

As previously reported, the idea behind Kangaroo is to offer an on-demand service akin to the BBC's iPlayer, but including programmes from ITV and Channel 4 too. Kanagaroo would probably get BBC programmes after they had been on the Beeb's own iPlayer for seven days. The project, however, is currently in limbo while the Competition Commission investigate whether the collaboration of the three terrestrial broadcasters is anti-competitive.

It's not clear if frustrations over the Competition Commission delays had a role in Highfield's decision to quit, though in a statement he says he has decided to go because the offer of the job he's going to, as MD of Microsoft UK, was just too good to turn down.

Rod Henwood, the former Channel 4 exec who is acting as Kangaroo's lead regulatory adviser, will take over as CEO on a temporary basis until a permanent replacement can be found.

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SKY TO OFFER NEW ONLINE TELLY SUBSCRIPTION PACKAGE
Talking of video on demand, Sky have said they will launch a new subscription-based video-on-demand service on the internet using the Sky Player platform that already offers some telly-via-your-PC services to existing Sky TV customers. The new service will offer access to channels and programmes owned by Sky, and others, and, crucially, will be available in isolation of other Sky packages, meaning it will be available to viewers unable or unwilling to have a satellite dish on the side of their house.

Confirming the new Sky Player offer, the company's COO Mike Darcey told reporters: "We want to make it easy for customers to enjoy great TV on their terms. Sky Player already gives more flexibility to Sky TV customers and soon we will offer some of the most popular pay TV channels through a standalone subscription to a secure online platform. While the laptop won't replace the TV experience for most people, we're creating more choices to allow customers to choose the option that suits their lifestyle".

As previously reported, Sky are also planning on launching a subscription-based online music service.

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OFCOM PUT KERRANG! ON NOTICE OVER RIGGED COMPETITION
When compared to leaving lewd messages on the answer-phone of an aging actor describing how you fucked his granddaughter, I'm not sure 'outraged of Britian' have the energy to get angry about the rigging of the occasional phone-in competition any more. But media regulator OfCom do.

They have put Bauer's Kerrang! Radio on a warning after the station admitted that their breakfast show presenter, Tim Shaw, arranged for a friend to win tickets to the premiere of Rolling Stones film 'Shine A Light' back in April, and then played a pre-recorded phone call with the friend on his show, pretending the phone call was live.

Given all the hoo and haa about rigged and badly run phone-ins last year, you'd have to be pretty stupid to try and fix a competition in radio-land just at the moment, but that's what the Kerrang! breakfast show team did. The media regulator has put the station on "notice" in relation to the scam, and says that if any other such incidents are discovered they face a fine.

Bauer have already sacked Shaw over the incident, though he is now presenting weekend late nights on Absolute. To be fair to Shaw we should mention his defence. He argued that while he knew the rigged winner, he was a "loyal and deserving listener" who suffered from a chronic and debilitating illness and was a fan of the Rolling Stones, and therefore he felt he was "doing the right thing" by arranging for him to win the prize.

He's possibly right, though, given all the aforementioned hoo and haa, it probably would have been better to say so on air rather than pretending the winner had won a legitimate phone in quiz.

In its ruling on the matter, OfCom said yesterday: "However well-intentioned the presenter's intervention may have been in these particular circumstances, his decision to ensure a specific winner was not only in contravention of the competition's terms and conditions, but was also a serious breach of trust with the audience".

In the same OfCom report on recent radio shenanigans, the regulator upheld a complaint over a sketch on Scott Mills Radio 1 show in which random words are bleeped out of a piece of audio. The complaint centred on the bleeping of an un-random word - "fuck" - on the basis the bleeping wasn't satisfactory.

The OfCom report reads: "Ofcom noted that the beginning and end sounds of the 'bleeped' word were 'f' at the beginning, and a strong 'ck' after the 'bleep'. This was played twice and clearly - for all intents and purposes - sounded like the word 'fuck'. Ofcom research has demonstrated that the word 'fuck' and its derivatives are considered by most people as examples of the most offensive language. In this instance, the programme was broadcast at 4pm, during school holidays, and was therefore on air at a time when children were likely to be listening".

The regulator rejected the BBC's argument that the sketch "belongs to the saucy seaside postcard tradition of comedy, [rather] than to anything more offensive".

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OUTRAGE OVER WHITE'S X-FACTOR DEPARTURE, APPARENTLY
'X-Factor' fans have apparently expressed their anger at the voting off of Laura White on this weekend's show. White, who was apparently second favourite to win the latest series of the pop talent show, came in the bottom two after this week's viewer vote, which, our resident 'X-Factor' expert tells me, means she had to take part in a 'sing-off' after which the judging panel - Simon, Cheryl, Louis and Dannii if I remember rightly - decide who stays and who goes.

This week they decided to let White go, which has angered 3500 of her supporters so much they've gone to the effort of setting up a petition calling for her to be reinstated or, at the very least, given a record contact. That in itself probably wouldn't grab the headlines, but then Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, who is MP for White's home town of Leigh in Greater Manchester, stepped in and raised the matter in Parliament.

After a debate on the whole Sachsgate affair, Burnham told the House Of Commons that MPs "should resist that temptation to comment on editorial matters", but then added: "Although the temptation is great in my case, having seen the wonderful and talented Laura White very harshly voted off 'X-Factor' on Saturday".

Now that the matter has been addressed in Parliament, and with some of those 3500 whiners, sorry, I mean legitimate complainers, claiming they couldn't get through to vote for White on the night, everyone seems to be giving quotes on the matter. Nick Weinberg, spokesman for bookmaker Ladbrokes, said White's exit had been the "biggest upset in 'X-Factor' history", though Guardian TV critic Julia Raeside tried to play down the significance of the affair when interviewed by Radio 5, observing: "It's just not important is it? It's four people who are sitting behind a desk on a Saturday night entertainment show. The soap opera of the show has become 50% of the programme".

I thought the soap opera has been at least half the programme ever since it began, but what do I know? Certainly not enough to officially comment on this for myself. But fortunately I don't need to, because here with the last word on the matter is the uber-expert on these matters - Ms Lily Allen.

She blogged last weekend: "Right, I think we were all a little shocked right? Laura didn't deserve to go in my opinion, neither did Ruth (my personal favourite). I've been left feeling quite upset by the whole of tonight's show. I can not believe that week after week, Daniel the pool man is still in, people are quite mad, I'm sure. Now, I don't know what people think on here, and I understand that she was ill, but out of respect to Laura, I think Diana Vickers should have to sing a Mariah Carey song next week, I'm sure she's capable of rising to the challenge, I just don't think it's fair otherwise. Everyone needs to be judged in the same way or the whole thing becomes meaningless".

'X-Factor' meaningless? Never.

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KYLIE NOT INVITED TO JASON'S WEDDING
Jason Donovan has said that he hasn't invited Kylie Minogue to his upcoming wedding to partner Angela Mallock. Well, I think it's a wedding. They seem to have already married in a private ceremony, but I think this is the "official celebration". Anyway, Minogue's not on the guestlist, because she's not his friend. Well, she's his ex, I suppose, so it's not that surprising.

The Sun quote Donovan as saying: "Kylie and I are acquaintances but not really friends. I know that is not what people want to hear but I've not seen her since we recorded the Kylie 40th birthday special. She is someone I admire and respect and we'll always be joined together in a special way".

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MCCARTNEY WOULD LIKE TO SING TO MRS OBAMA
Paul McCartney has said that he'd like to sing to future first lady Michelle Obama. Which song? Can you guess? Yes, of course. 'Michelle'. "I hope to get the opportunity to sing... to his wife. I have a little song ready for him", he told Sky News. He added that he, like the rest of the known world, is pleased with the election result, saying: "I think sincerely he is the man for the job. I think it is a legendary occasion and I wish him the very best. I was so 'fingers crossed' he would win it. I'm so chuffed".

Elsewhere in McCartney news, the former Beatle is to feature in the new Shrek film. What? They're making another?

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