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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 February, 2005, 21:39 GMT
Al Murray booted off Fame Academy
Celebrity Fame Academy contestants
Murray (top right) sung Stuck In The Middle With You
Comedian Al Murray has become the first person to be voted off Celebrity Fame Academy, which began on Saturday.

Murray was beaten by impressionist Jon Culshaw on the celebrity talent show, in aid of Comic Relief.

The opening show saw 13 celebrities, including comedienne Jenny Eclair, DJ Edith Bowman and TV presenters Nick Knowles and Reggie Yates, taking part.

EastEnders star Kim Medcalf is favourite to win the show, followed by Coronation Street's Debra Stephenson.

Others taking part include Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq, comedienne Gina Yashere and Monarch of the Glen star Dawn Steele.

Murray originally had odds of 10/1 to win the show, but he failed to impress both the judges and the public with his rendition of Stuck In The Middle With You.

Jenny Eclair and Jon Culshaw were also in the bottom three, with Eclair being voted into the house by the judges. Culshaw was voted in by the other contestants, beating Murray by just one vote.


The remaining 12 contestants will be trained to sing and put to the public vote in the run up to the final on Comic Relief's Red Nose Day on 11 March. The next eviction will take place on Wednesday night.

EastEnders actress Kim Medcalf
Kim Medcalf (above) - 2/1
Debra Stephenson - 3/1
Chris Colquhoun - 7/1
Ade Edmondson - 9/1
Source: Ladbrokes

The last Celebrity Fame Academy, in 2003, was won by former Casualty and Hollyoaks actor Will Mellor. It raised 750,000 for charity, from phone and text voting.

This year, Comic Relief CEO Kevin Cahill said: "Every time somebody votes to save their favourite student, Comic Relief will get cash that goes towards helping bring an end to poverty and social injustice in the UK and Africa."


Patrick Kielty and Cat Deeley are hosting the show, with opera singer Lesley Garrett among the judges.

The contest will form the centrepiece of the 10th Red Nose Day, marking 20 years since Comic Relief's first fundraising telethon.

Since 1985, the charity has raised more than 337m to help disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa.

Other celebrity fundraising efforts this year include a charity single by pop band McFly and a Little Britain comedy DVD featuring Sir Elton John, Robbie Williams and George Michael.

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