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Monday, 8 May, 2000, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Fat Les score for England
England fans at Euro 96
The FA hopes England fans will get behind Fat Les
A rendition of Jerusalem by novelty act Fat Les has been chosen as the England football team's official song for the Euro 2000 championship next month.

The group - comprised of actor Keith Allen, artist Damien Hirst and Blur bassist Alex James - reached number two during 1998's World Cup campaign with their unofficial single Vindaloo.

Now they have the Football Association's backing for their rendition of the hymn, featuring the words of poet William Blake.

Frankly, it's a cracking good song. It's a hymn, it's an anthem, it's there to be sung

Keith Allen

Keith Allen said: "Frankly, it's a cracking good song. It's a hymn, it's an anthem, it's there to be sung.

"We always wanted to do Jerusalem. It's music that played a very important part in my, and countless other, childhoods.

"Everyone has heard Jerusalem. Most of us have sung it and all of us know some of the words. Now we've brought it up to date for future generations."

Four choirs

The recording, which will be released on 29 May, features a 60-piece orchestra and four choirs: gospel, children's, celebrity and gay male voice.

Other celebrities featuring in the recording are the cast of Channel 4's domestic sitcom Spaced and Matt Lucas, better known as bald George Dawes from comedy quiz Shooting Stars.

A remix has also been put together by the Pet Shop Boys.

Fat Les
The face of Fat Les: Keith Allen

FA chief executive Adam Crozier said: "We have chosen Jerusalem with England's fans in mind, because we think it is just the thing to help them get behind the team.

"We want our fans to leave behind their own club loyalties when they follow England and join together as England fans.

"Fat Les 2000 are exactly the right artists to make this happen."

The 1998 World Cup saw a three way fight between Fat Les, a re-issue of Skinner and Baddiel's Three Lions and Top of the World, the official composition put together by Echo and The Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch and former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr.

But despite the Spice Girls' presence on the single, Top of The World only reached number eight, compared with number two for Vindaloo and number one for Three Lions.

Three Lions also hit number one when it was the official England team song during Euro 96.

Euro 2000, which is being held in Belgium and the Netherlands, kicks off on 10 June when Belgium play Sweden in Brussels.

England's first match is against Portugal in Eindhoven on 12 June.

See also:

14 Jun 98 | Entertainment
Three Lions roars while Spice Girls slip
22 May 98 | Football
Pop goes the World Cup
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