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Sunday, 12 December, 1999, 16:12 GMT
Beatles to mark Dome debut

Dome Dome chiefs must decide if all they need is love or to let it be

Dome chiefs searching for a song to herald the new millennium have chosen a Beatles classic over modern anthems from Oasis, Pulp and Robbie Williams.

Into 2000
A panel of experts will choose between All You Need Is Love or Let It Be for the song to be played just before the Queen opens the dome on New Year's Eve.

The tune will be sung and played by all the performers gathered at the site in Greenwich, London, shortly before 2345 GMT.

Sir Paul McCartney Sir Paul's Let It Be is a late challenger
The panel is led by Mark Fisher, the dome's creative director, and will make its mind up in the next few days.

Also dropped from the original shortlist of eight songs announced last month is John Lennon's Imagine, which is re-released on Monday and is a frontrunner to be the Christmas number one.

Lennon's All You Need Is Love was the only Beatles song on the shortlist, but the panel has been persuaded to add Let it Be, written by Sir Paul McCartney.

Mr Fisher said: "Ever since we asked the question `what is the greatest rock classic of the century' we have been bombarded with letters, e-mails, abuse, praise and debate.

"The British don't hold back on this thorny question. But we have got out alive - so far.

"The Beatles' pre-eminent place in the popular culture of the last 100 years is assured.

Round the clock

"These are not only two great British songs, they also fit the bill for the dome's opening night show. In the next few days we will make the final choice - this isn't going to be easy."

Robbie Williams Robbie Williams' millennium prayers have not been answered
Other judges on the four-man panel choosing the song include musician and TV presenter Jools Holland, Paul Daniel, director of the English National Opera, and the project director for the opening night, Michael Lockett.

Meanwhile round-the-clock working has been introduced to ensure the dome is finished on time.

Work is likely to continue on Christmas Day with three of the dome's 14 zones subject to 24-hour attention, according to project organisers the New Millennium Experience Company.

The company says five of the zones are finished and normal five-day-week working is being carried out on the remaining six zones.

"Everything is going well and we are confident that all will be finished on time," said a company spokeswoman.

"With different firms sponsoring different zones, it was always envisaged that some zones would be completed before others."

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See also:
12 Dec 99 |  Wales
Charlotte chosen to sing at Dome
10 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Sir Paul's Cavern gig winners
25 Aug 99 |  UK
Picture gallery: Millennium Dome

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