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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 September 2005, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
Katrina star telethons raise $70m
Dennis Quaid and Cameron Diaz
Dennis Quaid and Cameron Diaz manned the phones
A star-studded telethon watched by 22 million people has raised $30m (16.6m) for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The likes of Jennifer Aniston, Danny DeVito and Julia Roberts manned the phones taking donations as the one-hour show was broadcast on 29 US channels.

But the total fell short of the first telethon, hosted by NBC eight days earlier, which brought in pledges of almost $40m (22.1m).

Proceeds from both events went to the American Red Cross.

"As always, the Red Cross has been extremely grateful for all of the support from all of the networks," said Red Cross spokeswoman Kara Bunte.

Last Friday's Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast event was a rare TV event because the six major networks agreed to air it commercial-free.

Caused a stir

It was also broadcast on radio and on websites, with more than 140 countries able to see it.

Among the performers on the night were Rod Stewart, U2 and Randy Newman.

Rapper Kanye West was also on the bill, having caused a stir at the first telethon for criticising President George Bush's response to the crisis.

More fundraising drives are planned with PBS putting on the jazz-inspired Higher Ground Hurricane relief benefit on Saturday.

Artists including Paul Simon, Diana Krall and Herbie Hancock will be joined by a host of celebrities such as Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep at the Lincoln Center in New York.

The Red Cross, which is the biggest charity working to support Katrina victims, has received more than $650m (359.6m) in donations since the disaster.




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