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CMU Info
Top Stories
Amazon locker not licensed - does that matter?
In The Pop Courts
Nelson could sing his way out of a drugs charge (well, not really, but that's what a County Attorney said)
Charts, Stats & Polls
Manchester music fans most satisfied with local gig scene
Reunions & Splits
No Kinks reunion on the cards, but Dave Davies won't rule it out
Artist Deals
Beyonce splits from father/manager
Tom Morello signs to New West for new Nightwatchman album
In The Studio
Hammond Jr in rehab while recording Strokes album
Snoop Dogg recording with Charlie Sheen
Release News
Yacht announce new album
Gigs & Tours News
Enrique pulls out of Britney US tour hours after announcement
Sony's Music Unlimited to promote live show
Festival News
Festival line-up update
The Music Business
Twenty First Artists launches US producer management arm
Bertelsmann CFO confirms BMG's acquisition intent
The Digital Business
iTunes still accounts for vast majority of digital sales
The Media Business
Channel 4 to moves on from list-show format
Dave Pearce to present dance music nostalgia fest on Radio 2
And finally...
Kerry Katona promises to return to music again

South Dakota-born EMA, real name Erika M Anderson, made a gutsy move to LA aged eighteen, dabbling with alt-rockers Amps For Christ and releasing a 2007 album with drone-folk pairing Gowns before electing to go solo. Not doing things by halves, she set critics agog earlier this year with seven-minute album taster 'The Grey Ship', which was backed by an even lengthier experimental cover of Robert Johnson's 'Kind Hearted Woman'.

Debut album 'Past Life Martyred Saints' incorporates EMA's grassroots blues influences with a loose, instinctive songwriting style that's all husky vocals and lapping tides of distortion.

New song 'California' is currently making rounds on the web, fuelling anticipation for the album release on 9 May through Souterrain Transmissions. Ahead of several upcoming UK dates which commence with a headline show on 11 May at London's Macbeth, we caught up with EMA for answers to our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?

I got a red Fender Strat knockoff for a gift when I was about twelve. I think I was just born to be an artist in general, but there wasn't any fine art in my town so it didn't even occur to me. Rock n roll, on the other hand, was definitely part of the culture.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

My latest album was just inspired by getting back up after I had been down for a while. I also got a chance to work on it in a sweet studio. Not a pro/rock studio, but a really nice "home" studio where I could take my time and play to get everything right.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?

It's a varied process. Oftentimes I will start with a completely improvised take and build on it in the mixing process. Sometimes I find that if I try to retrack it I can never get the original quality of the first take, the honest inflections that come out when you don't know what is going to come next. I'm starting to explore other ways though, like actually writing a song, practicing it and trying to get a take I like! To each their own.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

I feel like I've taken a lot from artier producers like Laurie Anderson and Meredith Monk. But my background will always be in pop radio. There is something amazing in every decade and because people are so exposed to it they intuitively understand what the sonic shorthand means, ie gated snare vs Brill Building plate reverb. I love to throw it all together.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
On first blush it seems noisy, but there are actually lots of hooks!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I'm just looking to get a really solid live band together and have touring go really smoothly. I have a great band right now but we haven't done any long tours yet. I want to get a nice routine down for that as otherwise life on the road can be a killer. After that I'd like to work with some rappers.

MORE>> cameouttanowhere.com

I'm a bit dubious of this grunge revival that's currently wiping its shoes on the doorstep of the music industry, trying to get in and noisy up the place. But I never like to write something off completely, there's good stuff to be found in most places. In the case of nu-grunge (which I hope to God no one is calling it), it's Big Deal, who are creeping in that door after everyone else and sitting quietly in the corner until it's time to reveal themselves to be the most interesting people in the room.

Comprised of Kacey Underwood and Alice Costelloe, they write songs by winding their two voices around each other and wrapping them up in fuzzy guitars. No drums, no bass, you can almost see them composing them slumped in a corner after a particularly energetic gig with a full band. There's a certain late night, post-exertion feel to them.

Their new single, 'Talk', is released through the Moshi Moshi Singles Club on 4 Apr, with an album due through Mute later in the year.


Unicorn Jobs is on the lookout for Fashion / Lifestyle PR experts for a great opportunity within a high profile boutique fashion PR agency. The focus is on candidates from a Senior Account Executive to Account Director level who have strong fashion PR credentials, excellent media contacts and a history of working with high-profile clients, preferably in the fashion and retail industry. We are also looking for a digital/social media expert to join this agency as Head of Digital and take full responsibility for the company’s digital offering. Please email [email protected]

"The best music business training event I have attended; relevant and up to date, your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the industry is simply exceptional" from delegate feedback

We are currently taking bookings for the following CMU TRAINING courses:


A beginner's guide to music copyright - everything you need to know about copyright law, licensing, monetising copyright, the fight against piracy and the future of the music rights industry. Wed 6 Apr 2011


How to build a profile for your artists - the state of the music media, traditional and new publicity techniques, social media and the future of music PR. Wed 20 Apr 2011

For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training

Well, we've known for a while that some people are convinced music-based digital locker services don't require licenses from record labels and music publishers, and it seems that you can add Amazon to that list.

As previously reported, Amazon announced it was launching a music-focused locker service yesterday, enabling users to upload their MP3 collections to a central server and then stream them via a web-based player on various net connected devices (PC, Mac, Android phone).

The concept isn't especially new, most existing 'cloud-based' locker services already enable you to store and access music remotely, and some even already offer user-friendly web-players through which you can choose, stream and playlist your tracks. But Amazon is the first major player to overtly enter the music-locker-with-player market.

The big debate that hangs over this emerging market is whether or not such services need licenses from the content owners whose music will be stored in and played from the cloud. Copyright law is very vague on this issue.

Some argue that, providing a user has legitimately acquired his or her MP3 collection, he or she should be able to store them on a remote server and access them at their convenience without the user or the locker provider needing any copyright license. And while locker providers will charge a fee for their service, they are simply selling disk space and not content, and therefore do not require licences.

Others, mainly in the music industry, argue that - even if you ignore the fact a portion of many music fans' MP3 collections probably weren't legitimately acquired in the first place - even the digital music they do properly own is subject to license conditions, and those conditions do not, in the main, allow the making of additional copies of tracks to remote servers and/or the streaming of those tracks over the net (depending on where the track was bought from).

Also, while in many countries (albeit not the UK) copyright law has always allowed users to make back up copies of tracks for private use, oblivious of licensing terms, such a private copy right has traditionally been accompanied by a private copy levy, charged on devices used in the making of such copies and distributed to the music industry via collecting societies. Therefore, they argue, digital locker services are subject to some sort of licensing obligations.

The American industry is waiting for a lawsuit - EMI v MP3tunes - to go to court to try and get some clarity on this issue, EMI saying a license is needed, digital locker service MP3tunes arguing it is not.

For those companies developing their own music-based digital lockers - whether that be Apple, Google, Amazon or any independent player - the question that needs to be asked is: do we try to do licensing deals with the labels which will be costly, or do we wait for EMI v MP3tunes to get to court and see what happens, or do we just launch without licenses and hope MP3tunes win in their legal spat with EMI.

Apple and Google are thought to be opting for the first option, the former by rewriting existing iTunes licence agreements so to allow a digital locker service to launch, but clearly Amazon went for the latter option, enabling them to get to market quickly - licensing talks being a real time consuming hassle, especially when the labels aren't currently sure whether they should be licensing digital lockers at all.

Asked about all this by Billboard yesterday, Amazon's music man Craig Pape told Billboard: "We don't believe we need licences to store the customers' files. We look at it the same way as if someone bought an external hard drive and copy files on there for backup".

The labels in the main stayed quiet about Amazon's big announcement yesterday, though internally many were disappointed that the web giant had decided to go to market without first discussing options with them. Sony Music told Billboard: "We are disappointed that the locker service that Amazon is proposing is unlicensed by Sony Music".

Whether the labels will now consider legal action against Amazon akin to EMI's litigation against MP3tunes.com remains to be seen. Certainly with a major player now operating an unlicensed digital locker service, developments in the EMI v MP3tunes squabble will be getting even closer attention from both the content and technology sectors.

Presumably labels are nervous that if digital lockers take off they will hit emerging streaming music platforms like Spotify, and where as unlicensed lockers pay nothing to content owners, labels and publishers earn an albeit tiny royalty every time a song gets played on a streaming service.

That said, there is an argument that there is room in the market for both a la carte and streaming services, which appeal to different types of consumers, and if digital lockers make a la carte services, like AmazonMP3.com, more attractive, then that is in the record companies' interests. If you buy that argument, you might feel fighting the likes of Amazon over their locker service isn't a battle worth pursuing, except perhaps to reinvigorate the concept of the private copy levy - where it already exists - and charge that to locker providers.

Either way, this is a debate that has been brewing for years, but which is likely to get more attention now Amazon has entered the market without a music licence.

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This is a great story. It's not really true, but let's not worry about that, first rule of journalism: don't let the truth get in the way of a great story.

It was widely reported yesterday that a County Attorney in Texas was planning on letting Willie Nelson off a previously reported drugs charge providing he agreed to come to court and sing an acoustic rendition of his song 'Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain'.

As previously reported, Nelson was charged with a misdemeanour last December after a small amount of cannabis was found on his tour bus by a Texas state border patrol.

With the charge due to come to court, Country Attorney Kit Bramblett this week confirmed that, given the amount of cannabis found, Nelson would get off with a nominal fine. But he added, seemingly in jest, that that would be conditional of Nelson agreeing to an in-court performance.

Admitting he was a lifelong Nelson fan, Bramblett told reporters: "You bet your ass I ain't gonna be mean to Willie Nelson. I'm gonna let him plead, pay a small fine and he's gotta sing 'Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain' with his guitar right there in the courtroom. Willie Nelson is 77 years old and I'm 78, he's been my favourite artist all my life. We all know he smokes a little pot".

With a drugs charge of this kind in Texas a defendant pleading no contest could usually do so by mail, and not actually have to attend court, but Bramblett said the judge hearing the case had insisted Nelson attend in person, implying she also liked to idea of a little exclusive acoustic performance in court.

But said judge, Becky Dean-Walker, has since told the Associated Press that Bramblett was joking, and that Nelson will be able to plead guilty by mail if he so wishes. Which is no fun at all. Bramblett, the judge said "was trying to be funny and it got out of hand".

Manchester has the best music scene in the country, and that's official, no further opinions can be expressed, just grow up and except it all you non-Mancunians out there.

Well, what this PRS survey actually found out was that in Manchester over three quarters of people interviewed felt the local music scene offered enough gigs to choose from, and that percentage was (albeit by a very close margin compared to Newcastle) higher than any other UK cities and regions.

That might mean Manchester has more than its fair share of live music, or just that Mancunian music fans are easily pleased. London, which came fifth in the live music satisfaction survey, surely has more gigs overall, so perhaps residents in the capital are just very hard to please.

Anyway, here are the areas of the UK where locals were most happy with the local live music scene:

1. Manchester - 77%
2. Newcastle - 77%
3. Nottingham - 73%
4. Lancashire - 70%
5. London - 68%

Meanwhile, respondents in these areas felt there weren't enough local gigs:

1. Derbyshire - 71%
2. Somerset - 65%
3. Yorkshire - 59%
4. Kent - 56%
5. Essex - 54%

PRS spokesman Barney Hooper told CMU: "Local live music gigs are a great way to bring communities together and for people to discover local talent. Manchester has always been a hot contender as music capital of the UK, but we also thoroughly encourage venues in the surrounding areas, such as Derbyshire, to seek local talent and host more live gigs".

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The Kinks are not currently planning to reform for the Ray Davies curated Meltdown festival in June, contrary to rumours to that effect. Meanwhile, guitarist Dave Davies has said any future reunion "would be down to Ray", which I think means Ray would need to be extra nice to Dave, tensions still being high between the two brothers. Speaking to The Independent, Dave said that the long estranged brothers did meet up recently to sort out some "business, but nothing was resolved".

As for how they now get on with each other, he said: "With great difficulty. Let's just say that Ray can be... greedy emotionally. I don't know when it happened but at some point Ray kind of lost the ability to share. Emotionally - not just with money. Even though that [money] would help. A lot. But having said that Ray is a vain, egocentric, narcissistic arsehole, I won't have anybody call him that except me. Because I love him to death. He is my brother".

Meltdown takes place on London's Southbank from 10-19 Jun.

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Beyonce and her father Mathew Knowles have split "on a business level" according to a statement issued by their publicist yesterday. He will still be her father, though. Well, for the time being, at least one American management agency is surely after that role too.

Mathew Knowles was originally manager of Destiny's Child, of course, before taking responsibility for his daughter's solo career. Confirming she was now seeking management elsewhere, Beyonce told Associated Press: "I am grateful for everything he has taught me. I grew up watching both he and my mother manage and own their own businesses. They were hardworking entrepreneurs and I will continue to follow in their footsteps".

Confirming the business split was amicable, Knowles Senior added: "Business is business and family is family. I love my daughter and am very proud of who she is and all that she has achieved. I look forward to her continued great success".

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Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello has signed a new deal with New West Records to record his third album under the Nightwatchman name.

In a statement, Morello said: "[New West's] commitment to their artists is inspiring and I'm looking forward to fanning the flames of discontent with many Nightwatchman releases under their banner".

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Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr was in rehab for much of the recording the band's new album, 'Angles', and suffering from drugs withdrawal. This might explain why it's not that good.

He told The Sun: "People can't believe I did that. I wasn't on any chemicals. It was hard - you have two good years of post-acute withdrawal. I was nervous and couldn't remember things. It's like having a stroke, no pun intended. You always do the crazy rock star thing, of course, but I'd rather be left with music from someone I admire than their funny stories of all the fucked up shit they did".

Fellow guitarist Nick Valensi added: "We all saw something was broken - certain people getting into drugs. There was a lot of nodding off and passing out in the studio, like: 'Jesus, you're not awake to record your part, we have to wait four hours so you can nap'".

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So, Snoop Dogg is in the studio with Charlie Sheen. Of course. Apparently he is helping out with the soundtrack to Sheen's upcoming live show, 'Violent Torpedo Of Truth'. Of course.

Sheen tweeted a picture of himself with Snoop Dogg and former Korn live guitarist Rob Patterson, saying: "Warlock meets his makers - music makers that is - [Snoop Dogg and Rob Patterson] get ready to rock the Sheenius within".

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Yacht have announced that they will release their second album for DFA Records, entitled 'Shangri-La' in the UK on 27 Jun. Their fifth album in total, it was produced by the duo themselves, Jona Bechtolt and Claire L Evans.

Download a free MP3 of album track 'Dystopia (The Earth is On Fire)' here: teamyacht.com/mp3s/YACHT-Dystopia.mp3

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Enrique Iglesias has reportedly pulled out of a North American tour with Britney Spears just hours after it was announced. Although neither side has yet given a statement on the matter, Billboard reports that Iglesias' team were unhappy with the payment he was to receive, and that when the tour was announced it was implied their man was supporting Spears, when they understood it to be a co-headline arrangement.

The press release didn't actually say Enrique was supporting Britney - it said the two pop stars were "touring together" - but it didn't specifically say it was a co-headline tour either, and insiders say that, because it will coincide with Britney's new album, Enrique's people fear he'll be seen as the secondary act. He's also reportedly set to be paid a considerably smaller fee than Britney.

Despite this, sources told Billboard that talks are ongoing behind the scenes, which means the tour may as yet go ahead as planned if an agreement can be reached between the two sides.

Meanwhile, Calvin Harris has also been pulling out of a tour with a major American artist. In his case, Katy Perry and her tour of the UK and Ireland, which began earlier this week. This was announced through a brief spat on Twitter.

Perry tweeted ahead of the first gig in Dublin on Monday that "Calvin Harris will NOT be joining in on the fun and has CANCELLED last minute".

Calvin responded by telling his own followers: "Sorry to all who wanted to see me with Katy - her team suddenly moved the goalposts and I was to appear on stage with no production".

To which Katy replied: "The goalpost seems to be perfectly fine for New Young Pony Club, Yelle, Robyn, Marina & The Diamonds, to name a few. Or how about Janelle Monae and her sixteen piece band... It's fine, I'm used to you cancelling on me, it's become your staple!"

Oh dear. This continued on for a while, with Harris explaining: "It would have looked shit, sounded shit - trust me you would have been more disappointed SEEING the show than you are with me cancelling. Her show is AWESOME, you'll have an amazing time without me (especially without me DJing on a cardboard box in front of a pink curtain). I'm really sorry Katy Perry, I'm just upset because I really wanted to play but your team made it impossible. We tried really hard to sort it out, but playing side of stage for 30 mins, it seemed pointless me even being there. Didn't intend to cause offence or upset anybody".

Then, as is the norm in such situations, Katy Perry's fans spent the next twelve hours telling Calvin to kill himself.

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Sony's previously reported digital music service Music Unlimited will put on a gig at Proud Galleries in London on Thursday night to, er, well to promote the fact that it exists. Let's not dress this up. Performing will be Plan B, Eliza Doolittle, Katy B and Devlin, with Beardyman hosting the whole thing. Tickets are free, but you must register at uk.live.qmusic.com.

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BEATHERDER, Gisburn, Lancashire, 1-3 Jul: Leftfield lead the latest acts booked for this year's Beatherder, with The Selecter, Dreadzone, Grinny Grandad and Neville Staple also amongst a host of other dancey types heading to the back-to-basics bash. Already established on the bill are acts including the DJ triple-threat of Simian Mobile Disco, Mr Scruff and Mylo. www.beatherder.co.uk

SUMMER SERIES AT SOMERSET HOUSE, Somerset House, London, 7-17 Jul: Just-announced headliners Eels, Professor Green, Stornoway, Aloe Blacc, Imelda May, Beady Eye, Blondie, Hurts, Ellie Goulding, Lamb and My Morning Jacket will hold court across eleven successive nights at Somerset House's highly sibilant and celebratory season of live music. www.somersethouse.org.uk/music/summer_series_2011_2/

TIMEOUT SESSIONS, Camden Barfly, London, 22-24 Apr: Liverpudlian art-punks Clinic and gloomy indie upstarts Chapel Club are amongst the acts performing across three nights as part of this TimeOut-hosted music initiative. We Have Band, Kid Adrift and Engine Earz will support Clinic on the first evening. www.timeout.com/london/music/event/219850/time-out-live-london-sessions-festival

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Universal Music's artists management business Twenty First Artists has announced it has formed a partnership with one of the music major's US record labels, Universal Republic, to set up a new venture called Twenty First Republic which will manage US-based producers and sound engineers. The new agency will have bases in New York and LA.

Twenty First Artists boss Colin Lester told reporters: "This is an exciting new venture and a watershed moment for Twenty First Artists. It opens up myriad opportunities for our business. By combining the scale and reach of Universal Republic in the US with the management and brand development experience of Twenty First Artists, we are creating the preeminent leader in this fast-growing area of the business".

Universal Republic big cheese Monte Lipman added: "As we continue to expand our business, we are going from strength to strength with Colin through this innovative venture. Through Twenty First Republic, we will be tapping into music and the creative process in its purest form, while leveraging the resources of our company to find production talent and extend their reach in the marketplace".

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Not that I think we needed it, but the CFO of BMG co-owners Bertelsmann has provided us with confirmation that the music rights business is still in an acquisitive mood, and is interested in both Warner Music and EMI's catalogues and businesses.

Thomas Rabe spoke to investment types yesterday, confirming the wider Bertelsmann group had now reduced and restructured its debts following a period of cost saving, and was now ready to expand its various businesses through acquisition. And that included the new incarnation of BMG, their joint venture with equity group KKR.

Rabe admitted that BMG was looking at a possible acquisition of some or all of Warner Music, and added that it'd likely be bidding for EMI once Citigroup properly put it up for sale. He said he wanted BMG to become one of the leading music-rights companies worldwide in the "medium term".

As previously reported, insiders at Warner have said that BMG's bid is unlikely to be successful because the major's current owners and bankers believe the German firm's offer price is too low given the amount of interest in buying the Warner Music company.

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Again, we probably already knew this, but it's interesting to see it written down.

According to Digital Music News, the Association Of Independent Music provided some interesting stats as part of its recent submission to the government's Hargreaves Review of copyright rules in which the trade body confirmed that three digital services dominate over all others - iTunes, Amazon and Spotify - with the former also dominating over the other two.

The report said that those three services accounted for 94.4% of digital revenues earned by independent labels worldwide, with one of the three - obviously and subsequently confirmed to DMN as iTunes - accounting for 85%. The report then lists fourteen other providers who account for much of the remaining 5.6%.

While these stats relate to independent labels, I'd expect major label figures to show a similar breakdown, showing us that, for all the innovation and new services and such like, Apple is still the big domineering unwavering giant in all things digital music.

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So, don't expect any Top 100 Rebecca Black moments or Top 50 Classic Jedward quotes on Channel 4 anytime soon. New Chief Creative Office Jay Hunt has told her colleagues at C4 to get over the list show format, which she feels is getting rather tired.

A source told The Guardian: "It is felt that they [list shows] are popular but we can be doing bolder and different things rather than something which is fun but which some people feel can feel a little spurious".

Although Channel 4's list shows were originally nearly always music based, they have become less so in recent years, with last year's countdowns centring on the best toys, World Cup moments, stand-ups and plastic surgery shockers.

Channel 4's previous Director Of Television, Kevin Lygo, said in 2007 that the list show format was being phased out, though, while the number of such shows per year has declined, there were still six on C4 and E4 last year.

Whether Hunt's edict will be more resolute remains to be seen. The C4 source did include a get out clause when talking to The Guardian, saying: "The Jonathan Ross rundown of the nation's favourite toys did well last year and if Jonathan comes up with an exceptionally brilliant idea like that we may do it. But the direction of travel is now very much not to do them any more".

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Dave Pearce is coming to Radio 2 to present a dance music show. Each edition of the new show, to air for an hour on Thursday nights, will focus on a different era of dance music and clubbing culture, from disco and funk to rave and the rise of Ibiza, with classic tracks and bits celebrating DJs of old. Listeners will also be encouraged to participate with some clubbing nostalgia.

Dangerous Dave told reporters: "I'm delighted to be able to share my passion for dance music with listeners to Radio 2. With nearly all the original heavyweight DJs over 50 now I guess dance music has finally come of age! It's time to bring back some of those great records that we all miss".

He added: "I've been working in dance since playing disco on land-based pirate radio in the late 70s and have continued going to clubs, DJing and enjoying the music ever since. I'm really looking forward to hearing listener's anecdotes and record suggestions. People often say to me whatever happened to all those great records, the good news is that they are under my bed and in my loft!"

The new show starts on 14 Apr.

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Kerry Katona is planning a return to the world of music. Not, as she had hoped, with Atomic Kitten, but as a solo artist. So that'll be good. Maybe. Or more likely not. Actually, we just ran this through our computer, and can confirm "not".

Speaking to Digital Spy, Katona said: "There is stuff in the pipeline, but it will be solo"

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Chris Brown
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