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Friday, 3 December, 1999, 10:05 GMT
Sir Cliff - hero or zero?


The granddad of pop has reached the coveted number one position in the UK charts, despite his record being snubbed by major radio companies.

Sir Cliff Richard's single, Millennium Prayer, adds to a long list of successful Yuletide hits.

Your mum probably adores him, but the younger generation tend to cringe every time he rattles out yet another spirited melody.

What do you make of Sir Cliff - hero or zero?


What a ridiculous question. If the demand was not there then the record would flop. Age and religion should not be an issue. Music is personal taste. Personally I don't like it and won't buy it, but that doesn't mean I should condemn anyone else for doing so.
Duncan, UK


He's taken music he hasn't created and lyrics he hasn't written and turned them into a marketing machine for himself.
Matt D, UK
He's taken music he hasn't created and lyrics he hasn't written and turned them into a marketing machine for himself. Wherever the revenue goes from this he's bound to benefit. I find the song patronising and self-indulgent. It's like publishing a pop up version of the Bible to me. What's more would make terrible airtime. Don't play the song not for religious reasons, not for political agendas, but just out of good taste.
Matt D, UK

Pathetic song.
Awful video.
Pointless censorship.
'Nuff said.
Mike, Scotland

Yawn, Yawn, Yawn, Yawn, Yawn........ This has to be the most boring song of the millennium....congratulations Cliff!!!!
Emma Blount, Wales


Give Cliff a big thank you for the past 41 years - give the radio listening public the song they want to listen to.
John Targuse, Australia
Cliff has been consistently in the charts since 1959. He has sung many different styles of songs in over 40 years - Rock & Roll, Teen Pop, ballads, songs from the musicals - old & new, etc., etc. He has, over this time, brought heaps of pleasure to many people and also brought many listeners to the stations who now seek to ban the playing of his latest song - MILLENNIUM PRAYER, It isn't even going to be a money earner for Cliff - the proceeds go to a children's charity.
Come on now - the song's already at number one. Any radio station that refuses to play it will start to look a little silly if its ban continues. Give Cliff a big thank you for the past 41 years - give the radio listening public the song they want to listen to. Please stop this petty ban on MILLENNIUM PRAYER!
John Targuse, Australia

Cliff, do you really expect all of us to fall for your clever marketing ploy of appealing to all those do-gooders in the world, who need your oh so bland form of drivel that you have been producing for too many years to take them to the glorious heights of ecstasy that your wonderful (not) music inspires.
For God's sake, stop pretending to be different to the rest (one must notice the fact that he looks younger now than 10 years ago) Does the bottom line mean more to you than producing music of substance. Quit while you're slightly ahead.
Craig, Australia

I can't see what all the fuss is about. I haven't heard this record yet, but if it's the same as all the others he has released, the old folks must have rediscovered record stores and are buying in bulk. I can't stand him but if he's at #1 there is a reason for it.....sales
Kim, USA


Soldier on Sir Cliff, soldier on. The One up there is looking after you.
Wilfred Pau, Hong Kong
It was merely 3 weeks ago when I read an article in Australia about Sir Cliff's new song being banned in the UK. In it, the interviewer suggested to him of a possible semi-retirement down under. Now, 3 weeks later, his song has gone straight to no.1. Good on ya mate! Soldier on Sir Cliff, soldier on. The One up there is looking after you.
Wilfred Pau, Hong Kong

I find it surprising that some people feel the Lord's Prayer to be inappropriate for a Millennium song - its combination with the tune most famously associated with New Year seems designed to remind people just who's millennium we are celebrating.
Phil Blackburn, UK


How on earth can any record company or radio station ban a record on the basis of quality in a year when we have been subjected to The Vengaboys?
Tristan Abbott-Coates, England
How on earth can any record company or radio station ban a record on the basis of quality in a year when we have been subjected to The Vengaboys? Music is a matter of taste, I'm fully mature to realise that if I dislike a record it doesn't make it bad and therefore I have no right to exclude others from hearing it.
I have a right to say I dislike it but the kind of treatment Cliff Richard has received is pathetic and in case you are wondering, no, I don't like the record either but everyone should have the freedom to hear it and make up their own mind.
Tristan Abbott-Coates, England

Who cares? I doubt if anyone will have heard of this individual in December 2999!!
Chris, Spain

Firstly, I have absolutely nothing against Sir Cliff - in fact I would have been quite pleased if he had beaten off all the usual artists and got to the top of the charts. But that was before I heard the song.
Having to listen to it any more would be a fate worse than Boyzone: he's wrecked a good tune (it took me a couple of minutes to work out what exactly he was trying to sing the first time I heard it). And the lyrics... Can't he find anything new to say? I mean, he could have written this song in five minutes flat, and he's showed just how much creativity he doesn't have. I suppose, though, it would nicely sum up where the pop music world is heading at the moment.
Richard Wilson, England


Without the publicity around NOT playing it, I wonder if the song would still have got to number one?
Iz, UK


Without the publicity around NOT playing it, I wonder if the song would still have got to number one? It plays on the myth that it is being excluded because of religious bigotry provoking Christians to flock to it's cause. The reality is that it is excluded because it is simply a dreadful song that doesn't scan. What on earth is wrong with Auld Lang Syne in it's original form anyway? It's jolly, seasonal, has community spirit without the religious elitism of the Millennium Prayer and, most importantly, the words fit the music.
Iz, UK

How is it that Cliff only ever releases a single at Christmas time? Because, like everyone else, he is capitalising on the time of year, the coveted #1 position in the charts, and the publicity around the number 1 slot at this time. In his 40+ years what actual contribution to UK music has he made? None! All his songs have been naff lyrics and melodies without much substance. His latest single is pathetic religious nonsense, and his 'prayer' to be number one for the millennium only goes to prove he is only after the publicity.
CS, UK

I'd much rather listen to him than to the parade of leering amoral puppets supported by the record companies.
Peter Gist, USA

1. The radio stations have no right to tell us which record is good and which bad. We can decide for ourselves, you bozos.
2. Even if they don't want to play Cliff's record, they have no right to mount a campaign against him. Why should he stop singing just because he is getting old. Nobody ever told Sinatra that in the States. Only in this country do we humiliate our own artists thus.
Denis Low, UK

I'm not against radio stations banning certain records on the grounds that they are dire. I only wish that they had banned "Misletoe and Wine" (perhaps they could impose a retrospective ban in case someone requests it this Christmas). Mind you this is the same BBC who banned "Please Please Me " by the Beatles.
Phil, Wales


We can thank Sir Cliff for clearly exposing the anti-faith agendas of the controllers of "youth" TV and Radio.
Andrew Bedford, New Zealand
We can thank Sir Cliff for clearly exposing the anti-faith agendas of the controllers of "youth" TV and Radio. "Forgiving others as we have been forgiven" - the catch-line of the Lords Prayer - is the most positive way of addressing our personal and national problems and will be more relevant in the 3rd Millennium after Christ than its has ever been. How can anyone take offence at that?
Andrew Bedford, New Zealand

Ever since Cliff appeared with The Young Ones (Rik, Ade, et al) he's been cool with me.
Simon Davies, West Australia

Watching (and worse listening to) Cliff on TOTP was positively painful. I can understand radio stations banning this absolute nonsense and am astonished at the number of people in the UK it is possible to dupe into spending money on utter rubbish. A dreadful end to the year if the record stays at Number 1.
Jackie, UK

So, Cliff is too old. Just think how old and enduring the lyrics to his song are - near enough 2000 years - and still true. "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us..." music to my ears no matter who is singing them.
Barrie, UK

Plenty of singles (some much better than this one) don't make it on to radio stations' playlists for a variety of reasons. This year's offering is simply so bad that DJs realised that it would have us turning off in droves. On the other hand, if people want to buy it - enjoy? - in the privacy of their own homes then fair enough.
Simon, UK

The fact that Cliff can reach no.1 with no airplay is testament to the fact that commercial radio stations do not know what their listeners want.
Oli, UK


Cliff Richard has his fanbase and they will buy his records no matter how terrible they are, no matter who bans them or how uncool they are.
Trevor Blayney, Ireland
The simple truth is that Cliff Richard has his fanbase and they will buy his records no matter how terrible they are, no matter who bans them or how uncool they are. I just think that radio stations were right to ban the tune because people like this should not be encouraged. Cliff Richard is Britain's Daniel O'Donnell and should be stopped at whatever cost.
Trevor Blayney, Ireland

Cliff's song might be drivel but so are most songs that get to number one, it's all about marketing and not about the quality of the music. At least it's nice to see someone good getting to number one.
William Brown, Wales, UK

In a world of cookie-cutter personalities, can you think of anyone else in popular music with the courage to be so politically incorrect and the ability to win out so decisively over the massed opposition?
Pat Murphy, Canada

I don't think there is a problem with Cliff being too old or too uncool. This is simply an absolutely dreadful record!
Paul, UK

His record is atrocious, and you're right my mum does like it, then again she is 60+, also it really isn't difficult to get to No.1 these days.
Craig Bullen, UK

As much as I like Cliff Richard, I really do find this latest single, tedious and boring. What a shame!
Ellie, England

You have to admire Cliff for putting out music that is that bit different and for lasting so long. Only he could have made the idea of putting the Lords Prayer to Auld Lang Syne work as well as it has. No-one forces people to buy his music, so maybe now radio stations will take more notice of the "People's Popstar"!
David Cobley (age 20), UK


It is a real pleasure to see the mass-marketing machine that usually fills my car stereo with dross beaten at its own game by people power.
Martin Dart, UK
It's not my cup of tea, but he obviously inspires millions, and it is a real pleasure to see the mass-marketing machine that usually fills my car stereo with dross beaten at its own game by people power. Cliff deserves respect, and the number one spot, just for doing that! Well done.
Martin Dart, UK

While I'm not a big Cliff Richard fan, I like many of his songs. I think that an artist who has had so many hits and such a long run has got to be respected for that.
Jennifer Cannon, US

I'm pretty sure that the reason the song wasn't played and why a lot of us (sadly not enough) turned into Boyzone fans for the first time was that the "song" just isn't very good to listen to. The words don't go with the tune, the arrangement doesn't fit the solemnity of the words and the whole thing sounds like a cheap attempt to get more publicity for Cliff. The famous words and the famous tune deserve better than that.
David Scott, Scotland

Born & raised in England in the 50s and 60s, I am one of Cliff's biggest fans. However, the USA barely knows he exists. I am pleased to see he is in top form still and I hope he stays that way. He has brought a lot of pleasure to many people.
Diana Kozuh, USA

Stop knocking Cliff! He is a great performer and admired by myself greatly. I have bought all of his records and particularly like 'Daddy's home'. His new Christmas record is just another example of Cliff's genius. He will always be my 'Peter Pan of Pop'.
Nigel Ruse, UK

All artists have a fair chance at making it to the top of the charts. The fact all the radio stations banned Sir Cliff's record makes it even more special. What right have the radio stations to say this is garbage when a lot of records that come out nowadays are poor cover versions. Well Done Cliff, even though I would not buy your record.
Daniel Masters, England

I don't like the new record by Cliff, but lots of people obviously do. I think that Cliff should be left alone to make records as long as no-one buys me the CD for Christmas!
Karen Stammers, England

Well done Cliff, you may be the 'grandfather of pop' but at least you're still in touch with the youth of today.
Graeme Mulvaney, UK

Well done Sir Cliff. The people to decide which songs are good or bad are us, the public. Not the radio stations. Keep singing Cliff and we'll keep buying.
Jeff Myers, UK

Who in the world is Cliff Richard? We import a lot of British music, but this guy doesn't ring a bell at all. This means: no posters, no CDs, no concerts, no name recognition, no airtime on modern or "oldies" stations and no affect whatsoever. I'm dying to find out who he is. Meanwhile, the answer to your question, "hero or zero", must be "zero" until he breaks out of the tiny confines of the English market.
D. Frades, USA


How can Aqua, B*witched, Lolly and Billy be acceptable, but not Cliff. I think the current record is terrible but it's not for the record companies to censor what we hear.
Brian Meggs, England
Good for Cliff. The radio companies are content to play music full of sexual innuendo or in praise of drugs but had the cheek to deny us the Lord's prayer. Hang your heads, the lot of you.
Gerry, Scotland

Listening to this debate about Sir Cliff (and I suspect that the CD is largely irrelevant to all this) I can't help thinking that there exists a small, un-elected and unrepresentative group of people trying to write the agenda for this country. As far as most people are concerned, Sir Cliff is a decent, talented individual who has the courage of his convictions, and, in doing so, proves himself a man of integrity. In this multi-ethnic and various country of ours, why do the select few who control our communications, especially radio and television, wish to impose their own censorship on one man who happens to promote a decent point of view?
Keith Wignall, UK

No sex, no blasphemy, no violence, and no profanity! No wonder the record company and the radio DJs do not want to know. Well done, Sir Cliff you have talent, can entertain and we want you to keep going for as long as possible.
Daphne Papa, Cyprus


Awful song, but I admire the way it has got to number one. Without the help of the record industry.
Anne McIntyre, UK
I was delighted to see Cliff go to No.1 just to embarrass the radio stations who think they have the right to dictate what should or shouldn't get in the charts. OK the song is naff, but no worse than many other chart toppers. Further, if radio stations object to his age, how come they play Tina Turner, Cher, Debbie Harry etc? This is discrimination on decidedly dodgy grounds.
Janet, UK

Occasionally, just occasionally, those who make decisions for us are correct, and they are certainly so here. As on the issue of capital punishment, the chattering classes are right and the British public are wrong. It is an awful song, and should be banned for our own protection.
Mark Rolfe, Scotland

What nobody should overlook in this case is that the media fuss over whether or not this mediocre little record received airplay gave it more hype and publicity than any other song in living memory. A very clever PR trick: turning 'being silenced' into an incredibly loud noise.
Andy Medhurst, England

Cliff's song is so boring it is the worst song this millennium. Cliff is well past song making and should give up now. Millennium Prayer is meant to be the song of the millennium, but it's a song of the Jurassic.
Chris, England

Cliff has made so many records, probably among the best and the worst! But still has a great voice, top quality recordings and many people buy his records and go to see his concerts. So the radio's attitude is not fair and not democratic. If the public want Cliff - and it seems to be the case - they have the right to have him. And anyway, he has got the right to sing.
Jean-Pierre DANEL, France

CLIFF'S A HERO! I'm 24 and I'm not ashamed to say that I like Cliff Richard songs. Not so much his last couple of albums but his songs before then were pretty good. His latest song is good and a lot more appealing than any song off his recent album, but I expect that's down to the catchy nature of the melody. I would very much like Cliff to get a hit in the next decade.
Stephen, England

Cliff is great. He is my grandma's, mum's and my favourite artist of all time. He is a religion to us all. Words cannot express how good he is. Does anyone remember the track with Van Morrison? Classy - as all his songs have been and will continue to be.
Mike, UK


People seem to forget that the charts are all about quantity and not quality.
David Rickinson, England
People seem to forget that the charts are all about quantity and not quality - so Sir Cliff is at number one with his awful, mawkish, sloppy, sentimental, ill-phrased drivel. So what? There is loads of absolutely brilliant music out there. I didn't like Cliff's music in the sixties and I don't like it now - but do I care that he is at number one? No - because I know that my musical tastes are mine and not the rest of the country's.
David Rickinson, England

It's not his records that people don't like - it is Cliff himself. However good or bad a record might be, the fact that it is Cliff will always be more of a discussion point than the content of the song. For instance, 'Can't Keep This Feeling In' which got to about no.10 in the 'black charts': they thought it was wonderful - until they found out who was singing it and refused to play it again.
Janet Price, Pakistan

I still enjoy playing his songs over and over.
Alfred Chan, Sabah, Malaysia

Interesting publicity stunt by a (let's face it) rather silly man. It isn't music or even decent kitsch - just tired morality and transparent creative vacuity.
Patrick Halbig, United States

I think MR Cliff Richards has had his time, and it is now time for him to stop putting us all through misery with his pathetic songs/hymns, he tries to sing every decade. He may be a nice bloke, I don't know, but this is neither here nor there. He's had his day and I feel it is time that he retired and gave us all a break. Special thanks to all the radio stations that have refused to play his hymn - just shows someone thinks of the people. And as for all the tasteless people who brought the single, Shame on you! Plainly most of MR Richards fans are from the older generation who can be forgiven as their hearing is not what it used to be, clearly because of all those years of torture, listening to MR Richards records.
Lynz, England

You Brits don't treat your talented veterans very well. Where are the Spice Girls going to be in 41 years? You certainly won't have to worry about not playing them because they're too old. Five them another year, maybe, IF they're lucky. Pretty soon you'll be saying Robbie who? Boyzone? Get SERIOUS! Some of you wouldn't know talent or staying power if it came and bit you on the face.
Marilyn, Canada

I am 27 years old and I love Cliff's new song. When a singer is good and his music has quality, even without support of the radio, that music will always be a success. In the case of Cliff, the problem is that he was censured above all by singing a religious hymn and, as we know, our society is more and more adverse to Christian values. I give my highest congratulations to Cliff for his courage.
Nuno Westwood, Portugal


In this day and age there are less and less people in the public eye to admire and respect.
Beth Manning, New Zealand
Let's set the record straight for a start. Cliff's fans are not all over 40! I am 24, and most of my friends who like Cliff are under 30! I like Cliff's new single... though I can understand some might not, I am not one of those fans who like everything that Cliff has released, there are a lot of songs that I think are quite lame and not up to his normal standard. But the people who write him off as old, staid, and bland... I can't understand this... but hey we are all entitled to our opinions... But look at the response this single has got... it proves that there are people out there who like what Cliff does. I don't care what the critics say... the records speak for themselves...there are still thousands of us out here that think Cliff is a hero! And in this day and age there are less and less people in the public eye to admire and respect... people who live a good and caring life... Cliff is one of these people. Oh and I think it isn't worth replying to the remark that Cliff should say he is gay... His sexuality shouldn't even come into the music debate.
Beth Manning, Lower Hutt, New Zealand

There is no alternative for pure good quality music. The fact that he is still making hits proves that. Just because he's been around a lot longer than most artists is no reason for him to step down. A brilliant man, a brilliant artist and an inspiration to many. It will be a sad day when he does step down.
Dale Clark, South Africa

Music for pleasure. Surely that's what it's all about, no matter who the artist or genre. But if you can derive pleasure from Cliff's current abomination then I sincerely fear for the rest of your record collection.
Mike Clarke, UK

Ask yourselves why he has been treated so badly and the answer becomes clear, because he is a Christian & because it makes a lot of people who would rather not face such challenges uncomfortable.
Martin Williams, England

Does anyone remember payola? DJ's were paid large sums of money by record companies if they played certain recordings on air. This made nonsense of the charts. It was deemed illegal. For radio stations to ban certain artists for any reason seems just as bad to me. Fortunately the public (whatever their age) are not as stupid as these people seem to think.
Anne E., New Zealand

At the end of the twentieth century, why are monumental individual achievements subject to derision, rather than respect? Nobody puts themselves in the public eye to be ridiculed or insulted. The least one should expect is to be treated fairly by the public, respectfully by those who may not share their opinions and justly represented by the media. It's sad to watch how quickly popularity can change to contempt. Last week's "Media Darling" is this weeks "Shark Fodder'.
M. Markham, USA


It seems stars will go to great lengths to conceive the millennium No. 1 hit.
Mark Kent, UK
Cliff has indicated that he may open his own radio station in frustration at the lukewarm response to his release. This would apparently be in line with his decision to buy thousands of copies of his own dreadful single. Just like people trying to conceive the millennium baby, it seems stars will go to great lengths to conceive the millennium No. 1 hit.
Mark Kent, UK

I have been a Cliff fan for a long while and from a personal point of view this is not one of his best releases, however it's a hit and a lot of people like it so leave it at that. Best of luck and best wishes to Cliff and congratulations for clocking up yet one more number one. In any case I would much rather listen to Millennium Prayer than yet one more ubiquitous boy/girl band singing a bland re-run of a mediocre song from the 1970s or some drug-addled rap artist chuntering on about who knows what accompanied by some monotonous dead-beat tuneless rhythm.
Neil Ashurst, UK Expat in Ghana

Good Lord, is he still at it? His smarmy yuletide offerings were one of the reasons I emigrated in the first place.
Paul, San Francisco, USA

I am quite astounded by the attitude Sir Cliff gets in Britain. However, there is nothing new about it. It was predictable, and given the current attitudes in society, perhaps inevitable. For years people have speculated about Cliff's faith being a sort of a self-inflicted punishment for being a latent gay or 'outing' his Christian beliefs as a sort of marketing gimmick to help him boost record sales. How could anyone want to come up with such a load of rubbish! Cliff has a very open personality and has made no secret of his beliefs (which, by the way, I do not necessarily share) and if by releasing his new single he is able to stand up to ridicule of the mob once again, or to comments like 'the new millennium con, making money out of a prayer and a public domain tune', then to me he is twice a Star! While I admit that Cliff has had some 'stinkers' in the past, The Millennium Prayers is a good record, in my opinion. It is, of course, bound to be either loved or hated, but aren't there people who would spit and shout 'it's crap' about ANY song by Cliff, just because they are Cliff's?
Andrew Okolovicth, Moscow, Russia

A couple of competent but highly derivative songs with a good band 40 years ago but since then has gone from boring young singer to dreariness itself.
Guy Allan, New Zealand

Personally, I just want him to redo that single - "Time In Between" again - which was released and failed in US chart back in 1968.
Jonathan Limar, Sydney, Australia

The millennium prayer reaching number one clearly demonstrates that the majority of the British General public have a dreadful taste in music. This song is far from original and could be knocked together in a few hours. British people buy music based on sentiment rather than quality. Music that involves real talent is marginalised and underfunded because it does not appeal to the simple minds of the masses. The refusal of radio stations to play this song is a landmark decision. Let's hope they employ this policy with all the other pseudo House / Dance / Rock that gets airtime on their heavily playlisted shows. British people will listen to any old garbage if someone tells them to.
Victor Carter, UK

I think the record is terrific and have just bought it. Why not just leave him alone, be pleased for him rather than jealous!
Susan Willett, England

The Lords prayer has been set to music before, so what is all the fuss about. I am the same age as Cliff and love the guy as much as I did in our teens. Play it and enjoy it.
Anthony Clouder, Sarawak, Borneo

There seems to be some misconception that the people who appreciate Cliff Richard are mostly middle-aged women. For the last concert we attended, our group's age span was 6 - 58 (both male and female)!
Margo Atkinson, UK

He is the best singer.
Nashon Vinod Babu, India


I don't think it's appropriate for radio stations or anyone else to set themselves up as the arbiters of taste.
Fiona, UK
I am not a fan of Sir Cliff, but there's no denying he's popular. Music is so much a matter of personal taste that I don't think it's appropriate for radio stations or anyone else to set themselves up as the arbiters of taste. If you don't like him you don't have to buy his records. Leave him alone.
Fiona, UK

I thought pop pundits had agreed that Sir Cliff is a law unto himself. Don't try to analyse his success but may I put forward an amazing theory? Perhaps he sells loads of CDs because (wait for it) he's actually a very good singer! I'm a veteran of about 25 concerts of his. They are always utterly enjoyable, perfectly professional and absolute value for money. It says something for him that he can do duets with such diverse artists as Sarah Brightman, Van Morrison, Janet Jackson and Phil Everly not to mention the budding Pavarotti, Vincenzo La Scola. Incidentally, at these concerts, I've noticed that the age range in the audience is immense, 7 to 70. So stop knocking him and let's enjoy the music and videos he puts out.
Claire Powell, Belgium

Sir Cliff's a hero obviously but this record is a poor offering I'm afraid to say. Second hand record shops beware! You're going to be flooded out with people bringing in "Millenium Prayer" by Easter - along with the pile of Elton John Princess Diana tribute singles which you can't budge.
Richard Wilkinson, United Kingdom

Saw him at the Liverpool Empire in 1958, or was it 1957, he wore a pink suit, black shirt and pink tie and sang, among other things, "Move It" backed by the Drifters. Millenium has'nt been released in Canada yet, but to last forty one years and still get a Number One, he must be doing something right !!! A hero !!!!!
John Oliphant, Canada

Judging the song on its merits... there are none. Cliff should keep his Christianity at home. Hearing it makes me want to convert to Islam/Buddism/Shinto anything!! I for one am very glad its not on the radio. People who bought the single should be ostracised from society.
Martyn , London, UK

Cliff is the best performer for this song, if Back Street boys or Boyzone had sang it no one would make any comment about it they would get all the support!!!!!
Julie Lewis, U.K


Cliff's record has touched a chord in the hearts of many people in the UK and cocked a snoot at these faceless record companies who package and spew out the same old drivel with just a different coloured wrapping.
Kevin Millican, England
Definitely a hero. Why is it always so politically 'correct' in this country to knock anyone who is successful? Cliff's record has touched a chord in the hearts of many people in the UK and cocked a snoot at these faceless record companies who package and spew out the same old drivel with just a different coloured wrapping.
The people have voted with their wallets (and this time you can be sure it isn't just a mass-purchase scam by the record company), it's number one, and that's all there is to it - Rock on Cliff
Kevin Millican, England

I'm sure he brings a lot of happiness to many people and is a good person... But, I can't stand him! As soon as I see him, hear him speak or sing, it's like nails scratching on a blackboard. His style of singing is mannered and dated. When he comes on television or the radio I have to block my ears or leave the room. Sorry, Cliff. You can't win them all. What I don't understand is who buys his records???
Lucy Amis, UK

As for C Hill's comments about it being a 'pop' song, I though Auld Lands Syne wasn't a pop song, or am I mistaken. Sir Cliff has done well to combine religion and music to the masses. Fair play to him I say.
David Watkinson, UK

Perhaps if Cliff said he was gay and was campaigning for HIV or stood and shouted loudest about his charity work instead of keeping quiet he would get the respect due to him.
Mark Rushton, England

I think Cliff's great. This disk is a charity production in any case and I think that a lot of people want to support both Cliff and the charity!
Wendy Dunkley, UK

What a shame Cliffie can't get there without a crutch
Annie, England

Cliff Richard....creepy, creepy, creepy. He may have been cute in the 50s, he was to Elvis what the ford zodiac was to a Cadillac. But now, he just looks pickled. I say, put him back in his jar, do not open on Christmas day.
John Hutchison, Scotland

He's had a good run, his early 78's were quite good. But I don't think the compact disc was designed for Cliff's recent rubbish. That is 1964 onwards.
John P. Glasgow, England


Personally if the best he can do is a prayer to someone else's music then it's all a little sad.
Ian Stickland, England
If you ask me it's all been a rather cleverly contrived campaign by Sir Cliff's record company. Let's face it, the Lord's prayer is hardly the staple airplay of any of the radio stations that he's upset aren't playing the single. Just because it's him doesn't mean to say that radio is entitled to play it. The GOD channel might consider it part of their format, or maybe some of the local radio Sunday morning shows, but otherwise???
Instead, he's created a fuss, got in the news and I think was helped by the fact that the likes of Chris Evans mentioned it just about every day on his radio show and even played the thing on TFI Friday...
Personally if the best he can do is a prayer to someone else's music then it's all a little sad. If he hasn't donated all proceeds to charity then it's the new millennium con, making money out of a prayer and a public domain tune.
Ian Stickland, England

He's a Hero, God bless ya Cliff
Dougie Weir, Scotland

Nice tune, horrible lyrics. Or to be serious, why the hell should Mr Richard expect respect and airplay. This song which, despite it's seeming popularity, is awful has no divine right to be played. Stick an ancient prayer with an ancient tune and an ancient singer, just what we need for the 'new' millennium. Bah I say!
Cam, Scotland

If Sir Cliff wants to hear himself on radio he should use his vast fortunes to buy up a station and then he can play himself constantly. He must realise that radio stations have target audiences and that his music won't win ratings for some of them. He's number one, he's got a whole Cliff night, what more does he want!
Bryan Hughes, UK

Personally I think Cliff should bow out gracefully as is new song bores me to tears and I think it is wrong to use the lords prayer as a song.
Emma Johnston, Scotland

Cliff is still filling concert arenas all over the place, and still selling shed loads of records. He should be thankful that he can still do this after so long in the business. He's proven he doesn't need radio exposure. Why complain? Sounds like sour grapes to me. Every artist gets to a point where radio 1 will no longer play them, it's how the business works, otherwise the radio stations would all be clogged up with mundane massive-selling dross.
Steve, UK




It's politically correct to be bigoted and intolerant where religion is concerned. But Sir Cliff's continued success shows that a sizeable proportion of the population doesn't hold with that view.
Stephen Turner, UK
Sir Cliff is not really snubbed because he is middle aged, but because he is an 'out' Christian. It's politically correct to be bigoted and intolerant where religion is concerned. But Sir Cliff's continued success shows that a sizeable proportion of the population doesn't hold with that view.
Stephen Turner, UK

The song is UTTER RUBBISH as is the singer. Nothing more to be said!
Peter Jenkin Morgan, UK

I say Cliff performing his new "song" on Children in Need the other night, and I just could not believe how ridiculous he looked, like some kind of pseudo-messiah, and just how embarrassed his backing group looked.
We have had to suffer some real nonsense at No.1 over the years, but this really takes the biscuit. It is indescribably bad. I had heard that religion was declining in this country. It clearly isn't declining even nearly fast enough.
Ben, UK

I love listening to Cliff Richard, the rock singer, but I am not enamoured with his latest hit. The Lord's Prayer should be said, or sung, in Church, not on top of the pops. Having said that, I don't think it's right that it should be banned by BBC radio.
Doreen Cuthbert, Scotland

I think Cliff is a big hero in the present situation. I don't feel DJs should sensor what we listen to. I have never been a fan of Cliff but I am now over this issue. Well done Cliff.
Noreen Mcallen, England

I think sir Cliff is great he has outlived so many groups bands over the past 4 decades, that's because he has been loyal to his fans and music itself.
S Gul, UK


I can't see any other group getting away with a number one spot with this sort of material!
Tyron Barrett, England
Has anybody who's bought that record actually *listened* to it? It's terrible! I can't see any other group getting away with a number one spot with this sort of material!
Tyron Barrett, England

I really don't care either way, although I must say that I find him preferable to listening to Geri Halliwell, which, I might add, is not saying very much. I think the media's witch hunt concerning him is a little over the top. Who is Chris Evans to criticize anybody for being boring?
Kate Alley, UK

If people want to buy Cliff's sickeningly bad records then good for them. Don't forget, Cliff doesn't need radio play, he has the Lord on his side!
Stuart, UK

Cliff's a hero in my estimation. Ever since he was a young enthusiastic newcomer on the scene full of ambition and the drive to succeed, but with love for God and his fellow beings also. Have you ever heard Cliff use his freedom of speech to "cringe at another form of music?
Dorothy Lee, England

I personally haven't anything against Sir Cliff and I think it rather amusing that he's reached No1 without the help of the increasingly dire daytime radio productions, particularly Radio 1. What does annoy me though is that the record itself is the most utterly dire rubbish I have ever heard. Its badly put together and the strains of making the words fit the song are almost laughable. Otherwise, more power to his elbow.
George Liddell, UK.

It's not often that the major record companies are 100% right, but they were this time!! That Cliff Richard can get to the number 1 spot singing a re-version of Auld Lang Syne just shows how discredited the British charts have become. They do not reflect the music most people want to hear, but the units sales most convincingly shifted from High Street Chains, notably Woolworth and Our Price.
Darius Bazargan, Denmark


To hear some people talk, one would think that to release an explicitly Christian song in celebration of the birth of Christ was some sort of reckless racist provocation.
Sean Stack, France
To hear some people talk, one would think that to release an explicitly Christian song in celebration of the birth of Christ was some sort of reckless racist provocation. I suspect that many of those complaining are simply resentful at being reminded that Christmas is about more than partying. Let's be fair to the radio stations, though - the worst they accused Sir Cliff of was being uncool.
Fair enough, they have their target demographics to think of: youngsters with money to burn and (so the programme schedulers assume) no religious beliefs. In commercial stations with advertising time to sell this is excusable. Ignoring the fleeting coalition of consumers who buy Christmassy tunes is simply good business sense. But what is the BBC's excuse? 'Pop' is short for 'popular', not for 'cool'...
Sean Stack, France

Cliff's music may not be to everybody's taste, but a very significant number obviously still enjoy his work. Exclusion from inappropriate specialist stations should be expected, but an almost total ban smacks of crazed envy of his success and antipathy with his Christian values. More power to him as he conquers this spiteful reaction. Incidentally, he is almost unheard of here in Michigan -- a great shame, since I'm sure his music would be appreciated on the airwaves here.
Steve D, UK ex-pat in Michigan, USA

I have no objection to Sir Cliff - he is a better artist than most modern day Brit Pop artists; how many of them will still be popular in their 50's? So Good luck to him if he still sells records. However, I don't like the latest record - it is somewhat of a mismatch.
Lesley, UK

As a music fan, I find it heartening to hear that someone who has been recording since the 50's has had another hit. Unfortunately its this kind of drivel that Cliff is now famous for. How I wish he'd put those Chelsea boots on again and stomp around the stage. Come back rock and roll..
Iain Ferguson, UK

As long as he makes someone, somewhere happy with his music, I don't see what the hoo-haa is all about. The people in our world are to quick to criticise each other's taste, freedom and privacy!
Daniel Lourens, South Africa


Am I alone in thinking that Cliff's millennium song is in extremely poor taste? Turning the Lord's Prayer into a trashy "pop" song is distasteful to me.
C Hills, UK
Congratulations have to go to Cliff. We all know that he will bring some pretty naff song out at Christmas - but people seem to like them! As for the radio companies, they want to have a listen to some of the 'popular' music they're already playing. Cliff Richard is no worse than many chart-artists today.
Adrian Morris, England

There's a lot of 'rubbish' music around at the moment; can you honestly say that Cliff's record is worse than something by Brittany Spears!!
Amanda Sayers, UK

I'm not a Cliff Richard fan (sorry Sir Cliff) but I'm VERY tempted to buy The Millennium Prayer just to thumb my nose at his record label and the radio stations that tried to censor and humiliate him. How undemocratic. Keep going Sir Cliff!
Jill Baird, Scotland

The refusal of radio stations to play the song is disgraceful. Time and again the "silent majority" has shown the TV and radio stations are out of touch. Here we have blatant discrimination for whatever reason. Let us hope Sir Cliff is now re-accepted by the out of touch.
Barry Jones, England


The public have a right to chose - and they chose Cliff at No.1!
Ruth Abraham, UK
Quality counts. Cliff is class.
Bob Nicholson, England

Isn't it astonishing that Cliff Richard is the only true "rebel" on the pop music scene? Whilst hardly any records are now banned for being obscene or blasphemous Cliff has found a way to really upset the pop establishment.
Jane Rogers, UK

Cliff may be old and cheesy, but should have as good a crack as anyone else to get his stuff played. I find it astonishingly hypocritical of radio stations to refuse to play his stuff because he is 'too old' or out of touch, or whatever, when they pump out the utter, utter drivel that fills our charts every week without complaint. Three cheers for Cliff I say - I'd infinitely rather have him at the top that Bewitched or some other such nonsense.
Dan Norcott, UK


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See also:
29 Nov 99 |  UK
Cliff Richard: Peter Pan or lost boy?
28 Nov 99 |  Entertainment
Sir Cliff tops the charts
27 Nov 99 |  Entertainment
Sir Cliff 'hurt' at music snub
08 Nov 99 |  Entertainment
Christians call for Sir Cliff boycott

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