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Monday, 27 September, 1999, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK
Martine's Children in Need boost
Former EastEnders star Martine will spearhead this year's appeal
Pop star Martine McCutcheon is to sing this year's Children in Need single and the charity has launched a nationwide search for 100 youngsters to sing in her backing choir.

Successful singers will get the chance to spend the day in a recording studio with Martine to record the single, Love Me, which will be released on 22 November.

They will also join the ex-soap star to perform the song for the Children in Need telethon at BBC Television Centre on 26 November.

Talking of his hopes for the single, Children in Need Executive Producer Nick Vaughan-Barratt said: "We're very hopeful that it'll go to Number One and as all the profits go to charity, we hope to make a lot of money."

Last year's Children in Need appeal raised more than 20m
Martine, 23, has always had close links with the Children in Need charity.

Her singing career was launched on the TV fund-raiser three years ago, after she performed a cover of Barbra Streisand's Don't Rain On My Parade.

She was then asked to headline a concert at the Royal Albert Hall where she impressed record company promoters and soon clinched a 1.2m deal with Virgin's Innocent record label.

"Martine wanted to give something back," said Nick Vaughan-Barratt.

"We were talking to her about appearing on the show and she came up with the idea of producing a single.

"We thought it would be great to give every child around the country the chance to take part," he added.

Auditions for the backing singers, who must be aged between eight and 13, will be held in 11 locations across the UK, during the last week in October.

Last year's Children in Need appeal raised 20m and was bolstered by a charity single by former Big Breakfast team, Denise Van Outen and Johnny Vaughan.

The pair's light-hearted cover of the Kylie Minogue-Jason Donovan hit Especially For You, proved so popular on Children In Need night, it was released after the event as a charity single.

In 1997 the appeal got a massive boost from the charity single Perfect Day, which raised 2,125,000.

The record started life as a BBC promotional campaign and featured everyone from its writer Lou Reed to Bono, Sir Elton John and Tammy Wynette.

For more information see the Children in Need Website.

See also:

12 Apr 99 | Entertainment
Ex-EastEnders star's perfect moment
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