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Tuesday, 25 July, 2000, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
Concorde: Loved by the rich and famous
Diana Ross
Diana Ross: Arrested on Concorde in 1999
With fares costing thousands of pounds, Concorde has always been a luxury mode of travel used by only the very richest travellers.

And from pop stars to politicians it has attracted many famous passengers over the past 25 years.

The transatlantic celebrity

Concorde's pop passengers
1985: Phil Collins used the jet to play both the London and Philadelphia Live Aid concerts
1999: Posh Spice Victoria Beckham flew Concorde for three wedding dress fittings in New York
2000: Robbie Williams dashed back to London so he could accept two surprise Brit awards in person
Last year US soul diva Diana Ross made the headlines when she was arrested on Concorde after she assaulted a female security officer trying to search the star before she boarded the plane. Ms Ross was later cautioned and released - she went on to travel home in style - on Concorde.

When boxer Mike Tyson arrived in the UK for his controversial fight in June it was aboard a scheduled Concorde flight from New York.

Customs and Immigration officers went on board the jet to check Mr Tyson's documents before allowing him to leave the airport. He was the last passenger off the flight.

Phil Collins on stage at LiveAid before his Concorde flight
The supersonic jet helped make rock history in 1985 at Bob Geldof's 16-hour pop and rock marathon LiveAid.

Musician Phil Collins played on stage in London and then took Concorde to New York followed by a helicopter to Philadelphia in time to play drums for Eric Clapton before the televised event was over.

The head-turning Concorde club also includes celebrities such as Elton John, Mick Jagger, Joan Collins, Robert Redford, Luciano Pavarotti, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Annie Lennox and Rod Stewart.

The politician's favourite

It was UK Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon's fondness for travelling by the luxury jet at the taxpayers expense that earned him the sobriquet "Junket Geoff" when he was a junior minister.

And last year UK Cabinet 'enforcer' Dr Jack Cunningham was thrown onto the defensive when it was revealed that he flew Concorde to Washington at a cost of 3,452, - when he could have caught a business class flight just minutes earlier at a fraction of the cost.

Since the world's only supersonic commercial plane made its first French maiden voyage on 2 March, 1969, celebrities have always been attracted to the cachet of Concorde.

The unique plane was developed in the glamorous era of Harold Wilson and the Beatles.

The Queen favours Concorde when she flies and the Queen Mother is even reported to have taken the controls of one of the aircraft during a test flight.

But despite the reputation for luxury some of the planes have been in need of a refit because of their age.

British Airways recently announced that it was going to make its seven Concordes more elegant and comfortable.

The designer Terence Conran has advised on colours, fabrics and designs for the new interiors.

The Concorde Crash

Return to the skies?

The investigation

The crash





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