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Last Updated: Monday, 30 May, 2005, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
Andersen bicentenary chief quits
US soul singer Tina Turner
US soul singer Tina Turner charged nearly $1m
The bicentenary of Hans Christian Andersen's birth has had no fairy tale ending for the man in charge of Denmark's official celebrations.

Anker Boye has announced his resignation after a showpiece event ran up losses of millions of dollars.

The televised extravaganza on 2 April was intended to raise money for literacy programmes in the Third World.

Mr Boye was heavily criticised for hiring the singer Tina Turner, who was paid nearly $1m (0.5m) for two songs.

Critics said the American singer had no obvious link with either Denmark or Hans Christian Andersen, the author famous for fairy tales like the Ugly Duckling and the Emperor's New Clothes.

Tickets unsold

The show - described by some as Denmark's biggest ever cultural event - also featured the Danish Queen, Margrethe II, film star Sir Roger Moore, Chilean writer Isabella Allende, former Danish football star Peter Schmeichel, Irish politician John Hume and many other celebrities.

French musician Jean-Michel Jarre arranged the music and a laser show.

Mr Boye, Mayor of the Danish town of Odense - where the writer was born on 2 April 1805 - said he was stepping down as head of the Andersen Foundation, set up to run various events during the bicentenary year.

"I'm leaving my post following the harsh criticism against my person, which has detracted from what's important: the Andersen festivities," Mr Boye told Danish paper Fyens Stifstidende.

The final losses for the show were 35 million Danish kroner ($5.8m; 3.2m), the AFP news agency reported.

Only 28,000 of the 35,000 tickets to the concert were sold, and several European countries made late decisions not to broadcast it.

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04 Apr 05 |  Entertainment
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07 Mar 05 |  Entertainment
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03 Feb 05 |  Entertainment
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22 Jan 05 |  Entertainment

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