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Top Stories
Digital Minister stresses appeal element of three-strikes
Pirate Party publish manifesto - want ten year copyright terms
Should bands pay journalists to listen to their music?
Twestival wants your tracks
In The Pop Courts
More Murray speculation
Doherty arrested over flat death
Four injured as Buddhists protest against Akon
HTRK bassist dies
Reunions & Splits
Culture Club 30th anniversary reunion being considered
Release News
Phil Spector to release new album
Mariah remix album shelved
MGMT stream new album
Gigs & Tours News
Anti-folk supergroup The Bundles announce UK tour
Boyzone announce 2011 tour dates
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Single review: Four Tet - Sing (Domino)
The Music Business
Nordic labels announce distribution alliance
HMV promote Hirst
And finally...
Madonna moving back to London

Having met in the early nineties at Kingswood School in Bath, the members of Archie Bronson Outfit eventually formed the band and moved to London, where they were discovered by the boss of Domino Records. The Outfit released their debut album 'Fur', produced by The Kills' Jamie Hince, in 2004, though it was 2006's 'Derdang Derdang', recorded in Nashville with producer Jacquire King, that got them more mainstream attention. The band have just released their much anticipated third album 'Coconut', with production duties this time handled by DFA's Tim Goldsworthy. We spoke to drummer Mark Cleveland to ask the Same Six.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
We were pals at school and we liked the idea of starting a band. We were never interested in playing other people's songs, the focus for us was always on creating our own music, even though we couldn't play that well. We used to go and write songs at night in a graveyard near [guitarist] Dorian's house. There was no mystical intent behind this, it was simply the only place we could go to avoid waking people up and then we progressed to rehearsing in the cellar of [frontman] Sam's mother's farmhouse.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Mainly a desire to let ourselves create music freely, without trying to second guess what it should be or might become. This sounds more hippy than it was; really it was an attempt to break a few of our own 'rules'. This is manifested on the album in the way that many of the songs are quite simple, and also in the way that each one has a very distinct and definite flavour. Very often the thing that was great in an original idea slips away during the recording process through instrumental/structural over complication and boring production techniques. 'Coconut' is an attempt to retain the live feel that we had on 'Derdang Derdang' but to process it and intensify it sonically, almost to remix it in places.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Typically, we'll start by verbally describing ideas and wants we each have, and then jam trying to incorporate these. We listen to lots of one track recordings of ideas/jams. We edit and apply lyrics to a particular piece and then start playing it as a song and work from there.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Silver Apples, Kraftwerk, Minutemen, Dave Cunningham, Harry Cruz, Kate Bush, Wipers, Royal Trux, Liquid Liquid, The Sonics, Talking Heads, David Lynch, Suicide, Tarkovsky, ESG, Son Volt, Sandy Bull, Muddy Waters, Beefheart, Arthur Russell.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
"If you don't like this, you are an idiot" or "If you like this, you are an idiot".

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Mainly to travel as much as possible with it. We like to visit new places and the world is big so there is a lot to see. We recently bought some folding bicycles to take on tour with us to allow us to cover more ground wherever we happen to be. Musically we want to keep moving, too. The quicker we reach the next sunny craggy landscape the better.

MORE>> www.archiebronsonoutfit.com

Peggy Sue have released a free compilation of their early work featuring songs from their early single and EP releases, ahead of the release of their excellent debut album 'Fossils And Other Phantoms', which is out next month via Wichita.

Explain the band: "Before Christmas we made twenty limited edition cassette tapes of Peggy Sue's 'not necessarily greatest hits in reverse chronological order', it was basically one song from each of our previous releases. Anyhow we've decided you can all have one if ya like. Think of it as a sort of spring cleaning, making space in our closets for when our album comes out in UNDER A MONTH!"

As previously reported, the band will play The Garage in London on 29 Mar in an album launch stylee. Also on the bill are Dan Michaelson And The Coastguards and the recently CMU approved Mariner's Children.


Academy Music Group is looking to recruit a Marketing Partnership Manager to manage the delivery of the company's key marketing partnership with O2 and our other partners. The role is based at AMG's Head Office at the O2 Academy Brixton.

Applications to: Rita Garavan, Human Resources Manager, O2 Academy Brixton. Email: rita@academy-music-group.co.uk Closing date: Friday 2nd April 2010.

For a full job description, please visit www.academy-music-group.co.uk/jobs/index.aspx
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Baron Cohen and Fisher marry, apparently
BBC criticised for lack of older faces
The Mountaintop' gets surprise win at Oliviers
Cash-Gordon site discovers danger of automated Twitter feeds
NLA dispute to rumble on for a year
Should bands pay journalists to listen to their music?
Pullman will have security guards at Oxford Literary Festival
John Hurt gets lifetime achievement award at Bradford Festival
Music festival line-up update - 22 Mar 2010

The government yesterday stressed that those accused of copyright infringement under new provisions set out in the Digital Economy Bill would have the right to appeal any false allegations made against them. It was implied in some reports of Digital Minister Stephen Timms' latest remarks on the DEB that the right to appeal was a new addition to the three-strikes proposals, though, of course, they have always been in there; three-strikes might be deemed a draconian measure, but not even the DEB denies those accused of illegal file-sharing the right to prove their innocence if falsely accused.

Of course, opponents of the Bill have questioned just how that appeals process will work, and criticised suggestions those who do appeal might have to cover some of their own legal costs. But the right to appeal in principle has always been part of the three-strikes system proposed in the copyright section of the DEB.

Timms was talking up the appeal provision after those pesky dudes at the Open Rights Group claimed Gordon Brown's speech yesterday - in which the PM said the internet would be at the heart of all government services and democracy itself moving forward - contradicted the copyright section of the controversial DEB. ORG man Jim Killock told reporters: "Online government is a great idea, but Labour cannot say that people will depend on online government, and simultaneously plan to disconnect families after allegations of minor copyright offences".

Timms was keen to reassure voters the DEB's copyright section is not going to result in half the population being disconnected from the internet, just as more government services go online. 'Technical measures', as the DEB calls possible net suspension (lumping, as it does, suspension in with other possible sanctions, such as bandwidth capping for file-sharers), would be a last resort, Timms said, and don't forget that all important right to appeal.

Opposition remains vocal to the Bill as it heads to the House Of Commons, even though many key opponents now admit the proposals are likely to become law, albeit via some shady wheeling and dealing done by Labour and Tory MPs just before parliament shuts down for the General Election. Nevertheless, said opponents continue to campaign, with the aforementioned ORG announcing last weekend that 10,000 of its supporters have now written to their MPs demanding the Bill be properly debated in the House Of Commons. The aim is to make that opposition more physical tomorrow with a demo outside parliament (at Old Palace Yard next to the Abbey) at 5.30pm.

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In sort of related news, the UK Pirate Party has launched its manifesto for the upcoming General Election. Launched last year, though inspired by the more established Swedish party of the same name, this is the political movement who lobby, in the main, for radical reform of intellectual property and digital-data-related laws. They have, of course, been as vocal as the more established Open Rights Group in opposing the copyright sections of the Digital Economy Bill.

As you'd expect, their manifesto centres on their specialist areas, though actually more time is given to privacy laws, especially in terms of data protection, and areas like freedom of speech and libel, than the intellectual property issues which they are more commonly called on to comment about. Still, their IP policies are typically radical, calling for a wide-ranging reinvention of the patents system, the reduction of all copyright terms to a mere ten years, and an obligation on the BBC to release all its content under Creative Commons licences.

Of course, the power of niche interest parties in Westminster will always be nominal, not least because under the UK election system they have no hope of getting anyone elected to parliament. Still, The Pirate Party, like the Greens, presumably hope their existence and profile boost at any major election will counter-balance the more well-funded corporate lobby when IP, data and privacy issues are debated by more mainstream political parties.

Not that the undeniably high profile of The Pirate Party, and the aforementioned Open Rights Group, and others, have had much impact on the copyright section of the DEB, though they have helped ensure the big content owners, and the music industry in particular, are often portrayed as the money grabbing cunts in this debate (aided, of course, by the past cuntish behaviour of some parts of said music industry). Furthering of that portrayal doesn't appear in the Pirate Party's manifesto, though it presumably is part of their long-term agenda.

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So, there has been much chatter in the music journalism community in the last few weeks about a new service being offered to grass roots artists that guarantees to put their music in front of apparently influential music critics. The company can make that guarantee because it pays the journalists in question to listen to their clients' music and to provide a one-to-one critique.

The service competes with those traditional music PR agencies which offer their services to unsigned or self-releasing artists, normally for a few hundred pounds per campaign. The founders of the new service, called The Men From The Press, say their web-based promotional platform is more cost effective than traditional PR, because it ensures exposure to a small number of targeted journalists, whereas the traditional approach involves sending CDs or press releases to a long list of reviewers and editors, none of whom might actually listen to the music they are sent. With TMFTP bands pay a registration fee, and then an additional fee per journalist they wish to make contact with.

The journalists signed up to the scheme, who are seemingly all freelancers, do not commit to give anything they listen to any actual coverage in any of the media they work for, but will provide a direct critique, which might constitute useful feedback and, if positive, can be used in a band's other publicity. Though presumably the real attraction for bands is that it commits signed-up journalists to listen to any music they are sent, meaning that - if any of those journalists turn out to genuinely like an artist's music - an influential fan may be secured.

The page on the new service's website that lists the journalists who can be targeted has been through a number of incarnations. Initially customers of the service could choose which publications they wanted to target, and presumably any freelancers who write for those titles would have been contacted on a signed up artists' behalf. But that page was removed, reportedly after some of the featured publications complained it implied coverage in their titles could be bought, or that journalists participating somehow represented the viewpoint of the titles they may contribute to.

The crucial page is now structured by journalist, listing all the titles each reviewer writes for. The more titles, and the more influential the titles, the more it costs to put your music in front of a signed up hack. At one stage this page actually named participating writers, though currently the identities of participating reviewers are not actually revealed.

While there is nothing ethically wrong with it in principle, providing artists are clear they are buying feedback not coverage, and providing participating journalists are never unduly swayed to give coverage to paying bands, many music publicists and journalists are nervous about the implications of the new service.

It's founder, Dave Chisholm, admits that part of the aim of his service is to try to win his clients new fans in the music journalism community, but told The Guardian that he disagrees with the viewpoint that it is wrong to offer cash-strapped freelance journalists a financial incentive to ensure his bands are exposed to opinion formers. He argues that such financial incentives are no different to traditional PRs offering journalists free perks in a bid to ensure they listen to their clients' music.

But also speaking to The Guardian, one artist manager who previously worked in PR, Tim Vigon, said he still had concerns. He told the paper: "My instinct is that it's wrong on every level ... it feels like payola [paying for coverage], even though there's nothing illegitimate about it and all they're after is feedback".

Meanwhile the founder of one music website, some of whose reviewers were approached by Chisholm's team, was more blatant in his criticism. Drowned In Sound's Sean Adams blogged yesterday: "I sit around listening to mostly not very good unsigned bands for free. I can kinda see where the 'concept' came from, in terms of greasing the wheels to bring certain CDs to the top of the pile and give bands some feedback. Not all ideas are worth running with though, especially when they're so poorly executed, and give the impression [bands will] get a leg up when it generally seems exploitative and EVIL. If you're in a band, don't do this, just do your research of who will like your stuff. People are easy to communicate with".

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Twestival, an annual 'Twitter festival' which uses Twitter to link charitable events in over 200 cities worldwide, is seeking artists, labels, managers and general music people to donate music for its accompanying online radio station, Twestival.fm. People who then listen to music on the site can donate money as they do so.

SoundCloud's Dave Haynes, who is behind the Twestival.fm site, explains: "The goal is to raise $5,000 for Twestival. We have a matching grant too, so every dollar raised by Twestival.fm gets doubled! If you have some music to promote and a Twitter account then you can get involved straight away. It's really simple, you provide the music and fans donate the money".

Twestival itself takes place on 25 Mar, with proceeds donated to Dublin-based charity Concern Worldwide. Last year's event raised over $250,000 in total.

To upload tracks or just check out what's already there, go to: twestival-fm.com

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The allegations are really mounting up against Dr Conrad Murray, the doctor facing involuntary manslaughter charges in relation to Michael Jackson's death. Following the News Of The World's publication of an emergency services report that suggests the Doc failed to tell paramedics he had given Jacko the drug that killed him - propofol - when they arrived at his home to try and save him, now the Associated Press has claimed Murray wasted time removing drug vials from the singer's bedroom as the popstar lay there dying.

The new allegations seem to come from one Alberto Alvarez, who was Jackson's Logistics Director at the time of the singer's death, and who was at Jacko's home the morning he died. Alvarez apparently paints a chaotic scene of Jackson's final minutes, in which panicked staff tried to help Murray in his futile attempts to resuscitate the singer. At one point two of his children apparently walked in as efforts to revive their dead father were ongoing.

The documents seen by the AP also allege that, once Jackson had been declared dead at a nearby hospital, Murray insisted he return to Jacko's home so he could remove a "cream" that the singer had been using "so the world wouldn't find out about it".

Murray is pleading not guilty to the charges against him, which basically say the doctor was negligent in administering the dangerous surgical drug propofol in a domestic environment as a cure for insomnia. The fact he failed to mention the drug until being questioned by police, and these new allegations he tried to remove evidence of some of the drugs he was using from Jacko's quarters, could all be used to support the argument that Murray realised straight away that the propofol had killed his client, and that administering it in the way he had was rather dangerous.

However, Murray's lawyer Ed Chernoff yesterday rejected the new allegations his client had tried to hide any drugs from paramedics or police after Jackson's death. He also threw doubt on the AP's source, alleging that Alverez had given conflicting testimony when interviewed by different police officers. Chernoff: "He didn't say any of those things [in his original statement], then two months later, all of a sudden, the doc is throwing bottles into the bag. Alvarez's statement is inconsistent with his previous statement. We will deal with that at trial".

Chernoff refused to comment on the NOTW-published paramedics' report because, he said, neither he nor Murray have seen the document. He added: "We can say unequivocally that Dr Murray did everything in his power to save Michael Jackson's life and that he fully co-operated with both the paramedics at the scene and physicians at UCLA Medical Center".

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Pete Doherty has been arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs to a filmmaker who died in January, most probably as a result of an overdose. Robin Whitehead, heiress to the estate of Teddy Goldsmith, was found in an east London flat occupied by Doherty collaborator Peter Wolfe, aka Wolfman. It was Wolfe who discovered her body, though he denied that she had been using drugs.

As well as Doherty and Wolfe, another musician, Alan Wass, and the flat's owner, Gill Samworth were all arrested last week on suspicion of supplying drugs. Wolfe and Samworth were also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "A 31 year old man was arrested on 19 Mar on suspicion of supplying controlled drugs. He was bailed to return on a date in April pending further inquiries".

Whitehead had spent a lot of time in Doherty's company prior to her death, while making a documentary about The Libertines called 'The Road To Albion'.

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A number of people were injured yesterday after 200 Buddhists threw rocks at the headquarters of Sri Lankan broadcaster the Maharaja Organisation. The group were protesting against an upcoming live performance by Akon in the country, which is being sponsored by the company, after taking offence to the video for his song 'Sexy Chick', which features scantily clad women dancing in front of a statue of the Buddha.

Maharaja's Chevan Daniel confirmed that four of the organisation's employees had been injured as protesters smashed windows and damaged cars. Police also confirmed that several people had been arrested, though it is not clear if charges will be brought against any of them.

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HTRK bassist Sean Stewart died last week, the band have announced. He was 29. Details of the cause of his death have not yet been released, though it is thought to have been suicide. A statement is expected to be made later this week.

Pronounced 'hate rock', HTRK formed in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 out of a shared love of krautrock and David Lynch movies. The resulting music was driven by slow, mechanical percussion (courtesy of an old drum machine) and Stewart's repetitive but infectious bass lines, with razor sharp guitar noise from Nigel Yang and distracted vocals from frontwoman Jonnine Standish.

The group released a seven track EP, 'Nostalgia', through Fire Records in 2007, followed by their debut album, 'Marry Me Tonight', last year, courtesy of Blast First Petite, which led to tour support slots with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Horrors.

Sean is survived by his mother, Gloria Stewart.

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Boy George has said that he is considering reuniting Culture Club to mark their 30th anniversary. The band last performed together at a one-off show in 2002.

George told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's our 30-year anniversary next year so we may do something - maybe a bar mitzvah, I don't know. It really depends on the reasons for doing it. The last reason we did it, obviously we had the big hit with 'I Just Wanna Be Loved' and there seemed a point to that because we were doing something new. But unfortunately, with all these reunions you get to a point where you start remembering why you left".

He continued: "Who knows, maybe next year we could do something but I don't know if it would be a prolonged thing. I think we could do a one-off gig or maybe a small tour, I don't know. There's a part of me that thinks I should do it, but we'll see. It's all about my mood at the time".

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Phil Spector and his wife Rachelle Short are preparing to release an album of songs written and recorded prior to the legendary producer beginning his nineteen year prison sentence after being found guilty of murder last year.

Short, a former Playboy model, told New York Daily News: "I do lead vocals. My husband is so proud of me and I'm so proud of him for withstanding what he's withstanding".

Neither a title nor a record label for the album have yet been announced, but it is apparently set for release on 8 Jun.

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A planned remix album featuring reworked tracks from Mariah Carey's recent album 'Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel' has been shelved according to a Mariah fansite. 'Angel's Advocate' had been due for release next week, but efforts are now apparently being focused on the writing and recording of her next studio album instead.

The singer's management told MariahDailyJournal: "[The remix album] won't go to waste [but] we are looking to go possibly to another studio album or Christmas album. The decision hasn't been totally made yet. It's a creative process that cannot be rushed".

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MGMT have made their second album, 'Congratulations', available to stream for free on their website after it leaked last week. The album will be available to buy in downloadable and physical form on 12 Apr.

Announcing the stream, the band said: "Hey everybody, the album leaked, and we wanted you to be able to hear it from us. We wanted to offer it as a free download but that didn't make sense to anyone but us".

Listen here: www.whoismgmt.com

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The Bundles, whose line-up consists of former Moldy Peach Kimya Dawson, CMU favourite Jeffrey Lewis and his brother Jack, ubiquitous New York drummer Anders Griffen and prolific singer-songwriter Karl Blau, have announced that they will be over in the UK for some gigs in May. As far as I can see, this can only be a good thing. Their eponymous debut album is out this month via K Records.

Tour dates:

15 May: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
16 May: Glasgow, ABC2
17 May: Manchester, The Deaf Institute
18 May: Bristol, Trinity Arts Centre
19 May: London, Union Chapel
20 May: Brighton, Komedia

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Boyzone have just announced UK tour dates for February and March next year. This will be the group's first tour since the death of Stephen Gately.

Ronan Keating said: "There was a time when the lads and I didn't know whether we would ever get back up on stage together again. We just didn't know whether we could do it as a four-piece. We played three tracks live at the Albert Hall a couple of weeks ago and the reception was just unbelievable. We all came off stage buzzing, knowing that we had the full support of the fans, and it all just suddenly felt so right. We can't wait to get back on the road together".

Tickets officially go on sale on 25 Mar, but pre-sales tickets are currently available from www.boyzone.net.

Tour dates:

21 Feb: Liverpool, Echo Arena
22 Feb: Cardiff, CIA
26 Feb: London, Wembley Arena
27 Feb: Sheffield Arena
1 Mar: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
2 Mar: Birmingham, LG Arena
3 Mar: Nottingham, Trent FM Arena
5 Mar: Manchester, MEN Arena
6 Mar: Brighton Centre
8 Mar: London, O2 Arena
10 Mar: Aberdeen, ECC
12 Mar: Glasgow, SECC

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LOVEBOX, Victoria Park, London, 16-18 Jul: Paloma Faith, Yeasayer, Mystery Jets, Tim Westwood and Holy Ghost! have all been added to the line-up for this summer's Lovebox. They will join the previously announced Dizzee Rascal, Roxy Music and Grace Jones. www.lovebox.net

REDFEST, Robin Cook Farm, Redhill, 23-24 Jul: Little Comets, Twin Atlantic and Floors And Walls are amongst the first acts announced for this year's Redfest. Other acts confirmed to play include Tiffany Page, Citadels, Kurran And The Wolfnotes, The Vivians and Subsource. www.redfest.co.uk

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SINGLE REVIEW: Four Tet - Sing (Domino)
The fifth album from Four Tet, aka Kieran Hebden, arrives following his collaborations with dubstep tour-de-force Burial, and a much acclaimed residency at hallowed east London hip-Mecca Plastic People.

On 'Sing', both these influences make themselves known to stunning effect. Belying the track's hypnotic, insistent subtleness, there's a complex layering of textures that lends itself to the club floor as much as to the chin-stroking dance aficionado's headphones. As stumbling as it is meticulously taut, the track's eerily warped female vocal brings an icy slickness to the rhythmically pulsating beat.

'Sing' glimmers with intricacy and scuttling Nintendo-esque loops, which form an almost mantra-like repetitiveness, derived as much from tribal beats as clinical synth electronica. Intense yet painstakingly delicate; the ethereality track projects is a glittering example of Four Tet's brilliance. EG

Physical release: 15 Mar
Press contact: Domino Records

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Two Scandinavian music companies, who have both label and indie distribution operations, have announced they will merge their sales and distributions operations in July. Bonnier Amigo Music Group and Playground Music say they have struck up an alliance in the Nordic market so to better compete with the majors.

Confirming the tie up of some of their operations, Playground MD Jonas Sjöström told reporters: "In a market where the majors have a dominant position, we need to take steps that will ensure that we can continue our focus on being the best possible independent alternative in the Nordics. By consolidating our distribution and sales operations across the whole region we will be able to better serve the indie community".

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HMV's retail division have promoted John Hirst from the role of Chart Manager to Music Manager. I won't pretend to know what that means, though I'm pretty sure there is music in the chart, so presumably Hirst is fully equipped with the skills required for his new role. A new Chart Manager will be appointed forthwith.

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A year after scuttling back to New York, following her divorce from Guy Ritchie, Madonna is reportedly preparing to move back to London. Though she is making a film that's being shot in London, so she sort of has to. Still, one of those always reliable unnamed sources says that the move could last beyond the completion of the film. Entitled 'WE', which tells the story of Edward VIII's abdication from the throne in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson and will star Ewan McGregor.

The source said: "The Big Apple hasn't gone sour. M has just rediscovered her interest in Britain. She still owns her place in Marylebone and will be moving back there. She's going to be filming her new movie about Wallis Simpson in London so it made sense for her to move back. She has surrounded herself in the history of the great Royal scandal and that has played a part in stoking her love of all things British once again".

They continued: "Guy is hoping the move will be permanent for his sake with the kids, though he isn't holding out much hope. He is desperate to get the kids over here and be able to see them more often. Rocco is so excited about it, although Lourdes is already working out how she can stay in New York".

Just remember, she doesn't like being called Madge. So, when you see her in Waitrose, don't call her Madge.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Owen Smith
Approval Officer
Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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