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Monday, 18 September, 2000, 09:03 GMT 10:03 UK
Top of the Pops' Lennon tribute
John Lennon
Lennon would have turned 60 on 9 October this year
Top of the Pops will dedicate a special programme to the late Beatles star John Lennon to mark the 60th anniversary of his birth.

His widow, Yoko Ono, will be a guest presenter on TOTP2, on BBC Two, introducing classic tracks and giving a unique insight into his life and work.

While we were rejoicing in this beautiful song there was some spirit sneaking behind us to take John away

Yoko Ono

The programme, to be screened on 27 September, will feature songs Give Peace A Chance, Power To The People and Instant Karma.

Lennon would have celebrated his 60th birthday on 9 October.

He was shot four times by gunman Mark Chapman outside his New York City apartment on 8 December 1980.

Yoko Ono touches on his death when she introduces the song (Just Like) Starting Over, which went to number one after he was shot.

She says: "What a song. We loved it, we thought it was very positive.

Yoko Ono and John Lennon
Yoko Ono and John Lennon in their famous 'bed-in' for peace

"It was a start for both of us and we felt very positive about it.

"Life is so strange because while he was singing Starting Over and we were rejoicing in this beautiful song there was some spirit sneaking behind us to take John away."

The days recording Lennon's classic album Imagine at their mansion home in Ascot are recalled by Ono, who also explains why the song Jealous Guy still leaves her in tears.

His birthday will also be marked with a re-release of a song he was working on the night he was shot.

Walking on Thin Ice will be included on a re-issued version of his final album Double Fantasy.

His first post-Beatles solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band will also be reissued on 9 October to mark the event.

Chapman, 45, is serving a 20-year-to-life sentence for the killing and will have his first parole hearing next month.

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Lennon's birthday tribute
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