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Monday, October 11, 1999 Published at 16:23 GMT 17:23 UK


George Michael blocks BBC NetAid show

Now you see him...: George Michael at NetAid

Singer George Michael banned the BBC from showing his performance at the weekend's NetAid charity show because he was unhappy with his performance.

His appearance at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday was due to be shown that night and on a highlights programme on Sunday.

But he refused to allow the corporation to transmit the footage - citing technical problems with his performance.

During the show Michael interrupted his set to change microphones after the original one failed to work.

The Wembley show was one of three concerts in London, New Jersey and Geneva to raise money to help end third world debt.

[ image: George Michael: Unhappy with technical problems]
George Michael: Unhappy with technical problems
Acts appearing in London included David Bowie, Robbie Williams, Bryan Adams, Catatonia and Bush in London, alongside the likes of Sting, Sheryl Crow and Jimmy Page in New York and Des'ree and Bryan Ferry in Geneva.

The concerts were streamed live on NetAid's Website, and organisers said on Monday that it had been the most-watched Webcast ever. They were still waiting to see if the number of hits on the site had topped the target of one billion.

A BBC spokesman said: "We were informed that George Michael was not satisfied with his performance at NetAid and consequently he refused approval for any TV coverage anywhere in the world.

"We would have loved to have shown it to his fans as we were completely satisified with it and we are disappointed that we were not allowed to use it."

Michael's manager, Tim Stephens, said: "Unfortunately, we encountered a number of technical difficulties, both audio and visual, on George's recording.

"While we are trying to fix them in time to make the international versions of the broadcasts, we simply could not make the BBC's deadline.

"Consequently, George's performance has had to be cut from the initial UK broadcasts of the concerts. We are obviously hoping to be included in any subsequent re-broadcasts."

Organisers have dubbed NetAid the biggest charity concert since 1985's Live Aid show.

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