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Sunday, October 11, 1998 Published at 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK


Sir Cliff foils radio ban

Sir Cliff has uncovered a conspiracy

Sir Cliff Richard says he has beaten an unofficial radio station ban on his records - by releasing a disc under a false name.

The 58-year-old veteran entertainer has long harboured suspicions that he was deliberately being denied airtime.

So he sent out a heavily remixed dance version of his latest single, Can't Keep This Feeling In, to 240 radio stations, under the name Blacknight.

Well received

Sir Cliff compiled the pseudonym from his producer's name Clive Black, and the fact that he is a knight of the realm.

He said that the plan had worked and he now has proof that trendy DJs have a playlist policy of ignoring his songs.

[ image: The real knight]
The real knight
The disc - which had a 'white label' to suggest that Blacknight had not yet been signed to a major record company - was well received.

The Mail on Sunday reports London-based Choice FM DJ Jerry Bascombe as saying: "It is a great record and it took about four days to realise the identity of the artist.

"I suppose, to be honest, if we knew it was by Cliff we would have never played it, so it proves his point.

"Now we'll go on playing it regardless."

'No worry'

Simon Sadler, head of music at London's Kiss 100 FM, said: "He does have a point, that some stations are prejudiced.

"I have to say that if I did see his name on a record I'd find it very difficult to play it."

Manchester station Key 103 told the newspaper they would "never knowingly play a Cliff record".

[ image: Sir Cliff: Still cool after all these years]
Sir Cliff: Still cool after all these years
And Radio One admitted it did not play Cliff's songs.

Sir Cliff, who has made 60 albums during his career, said: "They've taken me off the playlists along with Phil Collins."

But he said that he had "given up worrying" about it.

He added: "I still have ambition in my soul.

"I'm really thrilled that at least some of the black music stations were playing my music and didn't know it was me.

"Stations package new bands, but children have ears and they deserve to choose for themselves what sounds they like."

  • Can't Keep This Feeling In (original version) is due to be released on Monday from the album Real As I Wanna Be

  • Sir Cliff - who is celebrating his 40th year in showbiz - is scheduled to tour Germany, Belgium, Denmark and Holland in 1999

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