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Last Updated: Friday, 22 August, 2003, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
'Tourists' fail Beatles quiz
The Beatles
The Brazilians thought Ringo Starr was dead
Six Brazilians have been turned away by immigration officials at Heathrow Airport after failing a quiz about the Beatles.

The group said they were on their way to Liverpool's Mathew Street Festival this weekend, which celebrates the lives of the Fab Four.

Reports say immigration officials refused to let them into the UK when they failed to answer basic questions about the band.

They apparently did not know who Yoko Ono was and thought Ringo Starr was dead.

Organiser of this weekend's festival Bill Heckle, from Cavern City Tours, told the Daily Post: "Portuguese-speaking immigration officials asked them simple questions about the Beatles, such as how many of them are still alive and what songs could they name?"
Some of the young people don't know that much about The Beatles - they are here to see the Brazilian bands
Fabiana Carvalho
Cavern Club Brazil

A spokesman for the Home Office told BBC News Online that six Brazilians were refused entry to the country on Thursday.

He said they would be asked the reason for their visit - and possibly specific questions relating to it.

The rest of the party were allowed through immigration and have travelled to Liverpool.

A spokesman for the tour group which brought the Brazilians to the country said she could vouch for them.

Fabiana Carvalho, from the Cavern Club Brazil, said: "The way we were all treated was ridiculous and very upsetting.

Mathew Street, Liverpool
The group claimed to be going to the Mathew Street festival
"These six people who were not allowed into the country were young students and working people. They were tourists not illegal immigrants.

"They could not speak any English, and they were nervous, tired and stressed."

Ms Carvalho said that all 72 members of the party, and Brazilian bands performing at the festival, were subjected to questioning.

She explained: "They played songs and asked us to name them. They actually made people sing Beatles songs.

"Some of the young people don't know that much about The Beatles - they are here to see the Brazilian bands, and to travel.

"I think the way we have been treated is terrible."

The City of Liverpool's Mathew Street Music Festival is Britain's biggest annual city centre music event and is now in its 11th year.


SEE ALSO:
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19 Aug 03  |  Music
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31 May 03  |  Music
Macca Mecca gets back to yesterday
22 Jul 03  |  Merseyside


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