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CMU Info
Top Stories
Citigroup say they will sell EMI to one buyer
In The Pop Courts
Spector's lawyers appeal murder conviction
Awards & Contests
Bieber, Arcade Fire nominated for Webby Awards
Charts, Stats & Polls
No sex please we're Coldplay fans
Release News
Fleet Foxes music inspired by nicotine
Gigs & Tours News
Kitty Daisy and Lewis tour
Festival News
Festival line-up updates
The Music Business
Copyright extension back on the European agenda
UK government seeks EU advice on closing VAT loophole
Geffen UK chief to exit Universal
Music Sales promote Butler
The Digital Business
Dutch government to step up digital copyright law
Soundcloud launch new Q&A service
Pulp set up covers site
The Media Business
Sky to show Bestival in 3D
Will Cowell's role on X-UK be reduced to super judge?
And finally...
Courtney Love selling clothes on eBay
Bieber complains of lack of holy respect

Born in Iran, London-based producer Hiatus self-released his first LP 'Ghost Notes' last year via Lucky Thunder. The well-received album demonstrated a deftness for creating expanses of warm, cinematic electronica, and spawned a debut single in 'Save Yourself', which took its vocal samples from old Persian albums that Hiatus discovered amongst his father's record collection in Tehran.

Hiatus' follow-up track 'Insurrection' is a collaboration with dub poet Lyndon Kewsi Johnson, reworking Johnson's 1981 reggae original 'The Great Insurrection'. The track envelopes more of Hiatus' diverse musical influences into a pulsating electronic soundscape, also serving to place a sharp contemporary focus on the 30th anniversary of the Brixton riots.

He's just compiled a mix for CMU's Eddy Temple Morris, which he will playout while sitting in on Xfm's 'X-Posure' show next week, so we caught up with Haitus, whose real name is Cyrus Shahrad, to gauge his responses to our Same Six sort of questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I've been playing the piano since I was five, although I can't read a stitch of music. At school I did the band thing and obsessed over hip hop; at university I discovered dance music and started DJing. Then in 2002 an American friend mailed me a copy of Reason and a MIDI interface, and I turned my Peckham flat into a makeshift music studio.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
It was a summer working as a journalist in Tehran, my first return since my family fled the revolution in 1979. While there I discovered my father's Persian record collection in a corner of my grandmother's house, and spent the hours between editorial shifts hunched over his old turntable, sampling the vocals and string solos that ended up on the album.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
I tend to rattle off the bulk of a tune in an evening, then spend weeks procrastinating over levels and EQs, worrying about reverb and compression and whether the piano is occupying too much of the snare's frequency spectrum. 'Ghost Notes' was ostensibly finished in late 2009, but I kept remixing and remastering until October 2010.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I find more that interests me in old music than stuff that's currently coming out. There are obviously contemporary artists for whom I have great respect - Loscil, Stars Of The Lid, Four Tet and Burial, for example - but most of the time I listen to traditional Iranian music and melancholic classical stuff.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I'd try to let the music do the talking, although the new single, 'Insurrection', could use a little background explanation. It's a collaboration with dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, who raps about the Brixton riots of 1981 that levelled the streets both he and I call home. The release marks the 30th anniversary of the riots.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Right now I'm juggling remix work with rehearsals for a live show, but my focus is on the follow-up LP, for which I'm planning to return to Iran for a couple of months to sample musicians and instruments and the ambient sounds of harbours, mosques and bustling bazaars. I'd like to make an electronic record with a truly Iranian heart.

MORE>> soundcloud.com/dj_hiatus

Every day in CMU this month we are previewing a different session taking place at this year's CMU-programmed Great Escape convention, which takes place from 12-14 May at the Brighton Dome.

Let's start delving into the panel debates programme now, shall we? And a particularly fine panel is being presented by the Music Publishers Association on the Friday of the convention, looking at the artist development side of that all important discipline that is A&R. Of course there have been many articles in the last year or so writing off this whole part of the industry, but surely many artists still need expert help developing their sound?

But who is fulfilling this role, and how, in the new music business? Is the artist development role of the music publishers becoming ever more important? If so, how does the A&R approach of a publisher differ from that of a record label? How much support can the record companies afford to offer? And who else can play an artist development role - managers, agents, providers of direct-to-fan platforms?

Joining the debate will be Powis Music's Tim Medcraft (pictured), Universal Music Publishing's Mark Gale, KIDS Records' Dave Fawbert and Malcolm Dunbar, formerly of V2 and now MD of Pledge Music. Journalist and media industry consultant Emmanuel Legrand will moderate.

To get into this, plus to attend all the other great panels, sessions, parties and gigs taking place at The Great Escape this year, get your delegates pass from escapegreat.com.

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Citigroup have reportedly assured EMI that when they sell the music major, sometime later this year, they will look for a buyer interested in taking the London-based music firm in its entirety, offering the company's current management some hope that [a] they will be kept on after any sale and [b] Roger Faxon's strategy of better integrating the organisation's two primary divisions, recorded music and publishing, can continue.

As previously reported, the US bank confirmed that their ultimate intent was to sell off EMI after they seized control of the music company off Gary 'The Guy' Hands and his Terra Firma twonks back in February.

Even before Citigroup were in control, and as soon as Gary's debt-laden supremacy at EMI started to unwind, many speculated a sale was in the offing, and that when it was sold this time EMI would be split into two, with the valuable publishing catalogue going to one of the equity groups busy buying up such things, most likely the KKR-backed BMG, while the record labels would most likely go to Warner Music.

But ever since Roger Faxon was given the top job above the whole EMI Group last year, he has insisted that splitting up EMI would be a bad idea. He has a vested interest of course, because if EMI was split up on sale there would be fewer opportunities for the current top guard at the major to continue in their current roles.

But there is also some logic to the Fax-man's argument, surely the future of the music business requires an integration of the recordings and publishing parts of the industry, so that institutions that invest in new music can take a share of whichever royalties are most lucrative. And if the music company of the future will be an 'integrated music rights machine' it makes little sense for EMI to be split up now. Unless, of course, the constituent parts went to other emerging integrated music rights machines, like, say, BMG.

But whatever, once Citigroup were in control at EMI and a sale was very much on the agenda, Faxon had his financial PR men make sure he was popping up in pretty much every newspaper or magazine City types might read explaining why buying EMI in its entirety would be a much more sensible thing to do, rather than picking off a few choice parts.

And, according to The Guardian, Citigroup have now assured Faxon that when it comes time to sell - and rumour has it talks with some bidders are already under way - the bank will choose a bidder who has the interest and finance to buy EMI in its entirety as a going concern. Preferably with the intent of keeping Faxon and his team in place, though obviously once a sale is done that cannot be 100% guaranteed.

Whether Citigroup have reached this decision based on Faxon's arguments, or via external factors, we don't know. Certainly the current sale of Warner Music may have had an impact.

Partly because Warner was always seen as a potential bidder for the EMI record labels, but if the US major is sold off in its entirety (which it may be), then that probably will no longer be an option. And partly also because at least two and possibly three bidders have come forward interested in buying Warner outright, which is probably more than most people expected, offering Citigroup hope that a sale of EMI its entirety is more realistic than perhaps previously assumed.

In almost related news, the aforementioned Gary 'The Guy' Hands is reportedly close to selling his other entertainment business, the Odeon and UCI cinema chain. Terra Firma put the cinema group up for sale last month, possibly to bring in some quick cash to fill the £2 billion hole left by the EMI experiment. According to reports, Terra Firma are now in exclusive talks with BC Partners and Omers Private Equity about a sale, though no firm decisions have as yet been made.

But hey, Terra Firma are out of the music business now, so what do we care? We never need talk of those freaky financiers, and their incessant biscuit eating, ever again. Though for old times sake, and for customary legal reasons, we must stress that the freaky financiers at Terra Firma do not incessantly eat biscuits. Though I did once hear there were a lot of hobnobs at Terra Firma HQ, but I've no idea what that means.

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So, could the Phil Spector case be heading back to a court near you? Well, only if you live in California I suppose.

Lawyers for the incarcerated legendary record producers have filed hundred of pages of argument to the California 2nd District Court Of Appeal requesting their client's second-degree murder conviction be quashed and a new trial - a third - take place. Spector's lawyers argue that misconduct by both the prosecution and judge in the original trial should render its outcome void, and those arguments are being considered by the appeals court this week.

As much previously reported, Spector was convicted for the murder of one time actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverly Hills mansion. She had accompanied him back to his home in early 2003 after meeting the producer in a club where she worked.

At some point during the night she was shot dead. Spector claimed Clarkson had taken one of his guns and shot herself, while the prosecution argued it was the producer who pulled the trigger, probably by accident. They paraded a string of other women before the jury who said that Spector had at some point pulled a gun on them too during late night liaisons.

At the first trial the jury couldn't reach a unanimous decision, but on second hearing he was found guilty and handed a minimum 19 year prison sentence, which he is currently serving. But Spector's legal team say the producer didn't get a fair trial, because of the actions of the prosecution and decisions of Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler.

In particular, they reckon that the testimonies of those aforementioned former friends of the producer who had had similar run ins with a gun wielding Spector late at night should not have been allowed, because they are entirely circumstantial and not relevant to the Clarkson shooting. Spector's new legal man Dennis Riordan says some of the judge's actions were "startling".

But speaking for the prosecution, Deputy Attorney General Lawrence Daniels disputes Riordan's arguments, saying the evidence against Spector was so strong that any small procedural mistakes, had they occurred, would have been insignificant with regards the final judgement.

The appeals court will now consider Spector's case. They could take up to three months to reach a conclusion.

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The Webby Awards have announced their nominations for this year, and amongst those nominated for web content honours are a number of music types, including Justin Bieber - recognised for the video 'Justin Bieber Takes Over Funny Or Die' - and Arcade Fire, who get a nod for their video for 'We Used To Wait'. Other musicians in the running include Katy Perry and Bob Dylan.

Website Funny Or Die has garnered a total of ten nominations, and the New York Times website has 18, while other nominees include the likes of Meryl Streep, Will Ferrell and The Angry Birds mobile phone game. Winners will be announced on 3 May, and a gala presentation will be held on 13 Jun in New York.

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Coldplay fans are less likely to have sex on a first date than Nirvana obsessives according to a nonsense but fun bit of research undertaken by Tastebuds.fm, a dating website that pairs people together based on music tastes.

They asked 408 music fans whether, on a first date, they'd most likely "only meet up for a chat", or maybe kiss, or "go all the way if the mood was right".

Responses to that question were then correlated with the respondents' favourite music, which is how it is that we now know that, if you're out for sex at the end of a first date, then you're going to be disappointed if you go back to their place and find Coldplay, Adele and Lady Gaga CDs next to the hifi. But if the iPod is full of Nirvana, Metallica and Linkin Park, then cancel all appointments and get ready for some action.

According to the dating site, fans of Coldplay, Adele, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Kings Of Leon are least likely to have sex on a first date (in that order), while Nirvana, Metallica, Linkin Park, Kanye West and Gorillaz fans are most likely to. I wonder how many Metallica fans then use JLS condoms.

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Er, Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold has told NME that his nicotine patches helped inspire parts of the band's new album, 'Helplessness Blues'. The music magazine commented on the dreamlike quality of the first single release 'Grown Ocean', and Pecknold claimed that this is down to his use of the aforementioned fag-quitting-aid.

"Yeah. If you use a nicotine patch it can give you really insane dreams, really vivid and real", he's quoted as saying. "It kinda got to the point where I'd put a nicotine patch on before going to bed to see what would happen. You'd have these really crazy experiences in your dreams. It was fun".

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Kitty Daisy and Lewis have announced a series of UK tour dates to coincide with the release of 'Smoking In Heaven', their second studio album.

Here they are:

7 Jun: Potrsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
8 Jun: Cardif, Clwb Ifor Bach
9 Jun: Exeter, Cavern
10 Jun: Manchester, Ruby Lounge
12 Jun: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
13 Jun: Newcastle, Academy 2
14 Jun: Glasgow, King Tut's
16 Jun: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
17 Jun: Birmingham, Academy 2
18 Jun: Bristol, Thekla
20 Jun: Norwich, Arts Centre
21 Jun: London, Dingwalls

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GET LOADED IN THE PARK, Clapham Common, London, 12 Jun: Patrick Wolf, Johnny Flynn, Slow Club, Los Campesinos! and Yelle lead the latest list of those willing to Get Loaded In The Park, that specific park being one in London that's already set to host Razorlight, British Sea Power and the newly Marr-less Cribs. www.getloadedinthepark.com/

LATITUDE, Henham Park Estate, Suffolk, 14-17 Jul: A solitary Lykke Li is the lone addition to Latitude's legnthy line-up, with The National, Suede, Echo & The Bunnymen, Glasvegas and Iron & Wine amongst the existing roster of acts keeping her in good company. www.latitudefestival.co.uk/2011/

LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY, Various Venues, Liverpool, 19-21 May: Having just announced the festival's day-to-day running schedule, Liverpool Sound City organisers have added a further few acts to the bill, with Frankie & The Heartstrings, The Computers, Our Mountain and Maverick Sabre amongst these. Black Lips, Yuck, Jamie XX and Kurt Vile & The Violators are a few of the most notable previous confirmations. www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk/

MELT!, Gräfenhainichen, Dessau, Germany, 15-17 Jul: Heading up a recent raft of freshly-announced acts are Jose Gonzales, Chase & Status, These New Puritans, Cold War Kids, Crocodiles. Patrick Wolf makes another appearance in today's festival segment as a fellow announcee, taking his spot on the bill alongside such previous bookings as Pulp and The Streets. www.meltfestival.de/en

SUMMER SUNDAE WEEKENDER, De Montfort Hall, Leicester, 12-14 Aug: Ska legends Toots & The Maytals are flanked by Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Young Knives, Blood Red Shoes and Factory Floor in the latest unveiling of acts set to play Summer Sundae, joining the ranks alongside The Maccabees, Graham Coxon and McFly on an eclectic programme. www.summersundae.com/

THE GREEN MAN FESTIVAL, Glanusk Park, Powys, Wales, 19-21 Aug: Iron & Wine, Gruff Rhys, Noah & The Whale and James Blake are amongst a host of new additions fanning the flames of anticipation for this pyro-tastic Welsh music fest. They join an already-announced roster that's topped off by Fleet Foxes, Holy Fuck and Explosions In The Sky. www.greenman.net/

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2013 is approaching people, and 'Love Me Do' is still set to come out of copyright in Europe that year, and from that point onwards the crown jewels of British rock n roll, still sizable earners for the UK record industry, will start to fall out of copyright. Unless, of course, the record labels can get the copyright term on sound recordings extended from the current fifty years.

As previously reported, lobbying efforts on the part of the record industry on copyright extension have been significant for years now, and officially UK government's policy is supportive of extending the term to 70 years, but copyright terms are a European matter and any extension would have to be EU wide.

Back in 2009 significant moves were made at a European level thanks the efforts of EU commissioner Charlie McCreevy, with both the Commission and European Parliament backing an extension to 70 years.

But when the issue reached the Council Of Ministers, ie ministerial representatives from each member state, things faltered, partly because some countries opposed the extension outright, and also because of disagreements on how far to extend the term, and whether to give some extra statutory rights to recording artists whose sound recordings are owned by a record label when the initial fifty years is up. With 2009's European elections providing a fixed deadline on the issue, in the end nothing happened and whole thing fell off the agenda.

But according to reports, the current Hungarian presidency of the EU is hoping to reopen the debate before the end of June, giving record labels new hope that they might as yet meet the deadline of 1 Jan 2013 for having the copyright term extended. Hopes have also been heightened by the news that Denmark, who previously opposed extension outright, have now softened on the issue, possibly ensuring a smoother ride this time.

Either way, expect the record industry's lobbyists in Brussels to be working some overtime in the next few months.

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Talking of the European Union, word has it that reps from the UK government have been talking to EU tax officials about how to go about closing - or, rather narrowing - the much previously reported tax loophole that means mail-order websites based in the Channel Islands don't have to charge VAT on anything under £18, including, notably, CDs.

As previously reported - after years of campaigning by smaller independent retailers, who argue that so called Low Value Consignment Relief gives an unfair advantage to bigger operations who can afford a Channel Islands base - Chancellor George Osborne recently pledged to take action against the loophole.

Although his initial pledge to reduce the cut off for the relief to £15 and to review other options seemed somewhat non-committal, we hear Osborne's officials are now consulting their counterparts in Brussels on what can and can't be done regarding the tax relief, which has its origins in European tax law.

As previously reported, those who oppose the loophole had already submitted a complaint to EU tax authorities claiming the UK had failed in its duty to ensure tax relief programmes do not distort the market. Previously the UK's Inland Revenue had defended its record in this area, but it seems that, presumably at George's command, officials are now admitting the VAT relief scheme has got out of hand and needs reining in.

It is thought the government will, in due course, announce a number of products that will not be eligible for the relief, and it is believed that list could well include CDs and DVDs, which would in essence bring to an end the music side of this story.

We'll let you know when we hear more.

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Colin Barlow, the Universal Music exec who oversaw the launch of a Geffen label in the UK, will leave the music major later this year according to Music Week. It is thought Barlow will head to Sony Music, there being quite an executive swap going on between the two majors at the moment on both sides of the Atlantic. As previously reported, the MD of Sony's Epic UK division, Nick Raphael, is shifting over to Universal. It would be unfair of me to only name the charmless boy band that is The Wanted - aka the Capital Radio group - as an output of Barlow's time running Geffen, but look, I just did it.

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Independent publisher Music Sales has promoted Chris Butler, who has been with the company since 1993, most recently as COO, to the role of Head Of Publishing Worldwide. I'm not 100% sure what the difference is, but I'm sure its significant, otherwise a respected publication like CMU wouldn't be reporting on it. Music Sales Chairman Bob Wise issued the following lengthy confirmation of the promotion: "This is an important appointment for the company and we wish Chris well in his new role".

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The Dutch government are the latest to announce proposals for new laws to crack down on online piracy, though they aren't going anywhere near as far as their counterparts in France and the UK - who both introduced variations of the three-strikes system - rather they are playing catch up given that existing copyright law in The Netherlands doesn't actually say downloading unlicensed content off the internet is illegal.

Under the current Dutch copyright system, while uploading unlicensed content to file-sharing networks or websites is illegal, the downloading of such material is allowed under the private copy clause of the country's fair use provisions. But under new proposals from the government there, that would cease to be the case, meaning anyone who downloads music could open themselves up to copyright infringement actions. In the UK, where there has never been a private copy right, that downloading unlicensed music is illegal has never been in doubt, even if it's hard to do anything about it.

The private copy levy applied to blank CDs and DVDs and directly linked to the old private copy right would also be abolished under the new proposals, which are supported by the country's anti-piracy group BREIN, who say that although the change in the law is important, they will not actually go after individual downloader's, preferring to target those who run the websites that enable file-sharing instead.

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SoundCloud yesterday launched a new beta service called Take Questions which will enable people to offer an audio-based Q&A on their websites. Imogen Heap and DJ Nihal are among the people already using the service.

SoundCloud big boss man Alexander Ljung told CMU: "To know your questions are actually being heard and answered by the people you admire is far more meaningful and exciting than simply using the written word. Takes Questions is fun, free and all about connecting people through sound. At SoundCloud we want to enable the sound creator in everyone, and we intend to continue innovating on our API, as we have with Takes Questions, to make that happen".

For the lowdown on how all this works, check takesquestions.com/how-to and takesquestions.com/faq.

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This is fun, Pulp have put up a website of YouTube videos of people covering their songs, from full on cover bands to lone guitarists in their bedroom, and are encouraging others to upload their renditions of the reforming group's pop classics.

Say the band: "Friends - during the process of learning to play the old songs again we have been consulting the versions posted by various persons on the internet. Very educational! So we thought we'd share some of our favourites with you. View them online at www.pulppeople.com and vote for YOUR favourites - or upload your own renditions if you think you could do better. Please get involved. It will be fun. We're offering a musical prize to the winner (if we can find them out in cyberspace)".

As they say there, the website for this is www.pulppeople.com

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Sky Arts are set to air coverage of Bestival and the Isle Of Wight Festival in 3D this year. Yes, 3D. I've no idea why. How long is this new obsession with 3D telly going to last? Film and telly execs do realise it's only them who are in anyway interested in 3D right?

Still, that the Sky channel is covering these and ten other festivals this summer is rather exciting. Also getting HD (though not 3D) airtime on Sky Arts will be Download, Hard Rock Calling, Latitude, Lovebox, High Voltage, Cambridge Folk Festival, Camp Bestival, Sonisphere, Cropredy and Rewind.

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Simon Cowell will not appear on the next UK series of 'X-Factor', according to a super source on the telly show, who helpfully adds "though it's not been completely decided yet".

As previously reported, there has been much speculation that Cowell will be too busy with the new US version of 'X' to appear on the UK version. It was rumoured he wanted ITV to shift the next series of the show into Spring 2012 so he'd have the time. Some reports suggest ITV bosses have been seriously considering that option, though others say the broadcaster is adamant the big earning show will take place this year.

It had been suggested that Cowell could sit out the initial auditions but reappear for the live shows. But now it's being said that it will be impossible for Cowell to even attend those, with the latest plan seemingly that the Syco chief will appear as some sort of 'super judge', either by satellite, or on just the final handful of shows.

But all this is idle speculation really, to be honest I'm not sure why I'm bothering writing about it.

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Courtney Love is flogging her old clothes on eBay, presumably because she needs the cash. The singer has set up store on the auction website called 'Courtney Love Couture' and has a number of items listed as previously either being 'worn' or 'owned' by the Hole star. At the moment you can bid for a red baby doll dress, a leather jacket, a vintage satin slip, and a silk dress. See here: shop.ebay.com/c.lovecouture/m.html?_trksid=p4340.l2562

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Justin Bieber has posted a number of angry messages about the fact that he can't even visit holy places without the paparazzi following him. The Canadian pop star is in Israel, as he is scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv tomorrow, and thinks the media could have afforded him some privacy whilst on holy ground. Which is really expecting them to exercise some integrity, so of course he's on a hiding to nothing.

Anyway, Bieber wrote: "You would think paparazzi would have some respect in holy places. All I wanted was the chance to walk where jesus did here in isreal [sic]. They should be ashamed of themselves. Take pictures of me eating but not in a place of prayer, ridiculous... People wait their whole lives for opportunities like this, why would they want to take that experience away from someone ... Staying in the hotel for the rest of the week u happy?"

Poor Bieber. The price of fame and fortune. Etc, etc.

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