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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 June 2006, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK
Buskers audition for Tube pitch
Steve Pierce playing the bagpipes
Musicians had to play before a panel of judges
Buskers keen to sign up for a regular spot on the London Underground (LU) have been showing off their talents in the latest round of auditions.

A total of 259 licensed buskers provide more than 2,000 hours of live music, at 25 Tube stations, every week.

Musicians must play a selection of songs in a 5-10 minute slot in front of a panel, including music professionals, as part of the selection process.

Buskers are not paid and rely on contributions from the public.

Entertaining celebrities

The scheme was launched in response to customer demand for talented musicians to perform at stations.

LU said the scheme had resulted in a 72% decrease in busking-related police call-outs across the network.

As a result of being spotted playing on the Tube, two buskers were invited to meet the Queen at a Buckingham Palace reception for the Music Industry March 2005.

One busker appeared in a BBC documentary on "The Blues" and another was invited to entertain celebrities and guests at the Bafta awards this year.

A total of 51 people were due to take part in Thursday's auditions at Charing Cross.

Watch the performers put thorough their paces.

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19 May 03 |  Music
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29 Apr 03 |  London


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