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Last Updated: Monday, 30 January 2006, 19:53 GMT
Macca school celebrates birthday
Sir Paul McCartney
Sir Paul said he had been asked to perform in his home city in 2008
Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney has said he did not expect his "fame academy" to produce the next John Lennon or Bob Dylan.

He was speaking at the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) which he co-founded at his old school.

Nearly 250 LIPA students and graduates took part in a gala performance at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall.

Great bands could not be taught but emerged naturally, said Sir Paul.

"When we started the school I was working with the Liverpool band The Christians on a charity record and they said to me that you couldn't teach what we did," he said.

I am very proud of this school and what it did for me
Sir Paul McCartney

"You look at how things are these days, you look at every programme on the television and it takes someone three weeks to train a person and they become stars."

Sir Paul said he feared there were too many TV talent shows, but that they gave people a good showcase for their talent.

Monday's event also heralded the official launch of Liverpool Performs 2006 - a 12-month celebration of the city's contribution to the arts, sport and business - the latest in a series of themed years leading up to European Capital of Culture 2008.

Sir Paul said he had been approached to perform in his home city in 2008 as part of the Capital of Culture celebrations.

'Gone forward'

But the singer said he had not agreed to any shows yet as it was "too early".

He added: "Whenever I come up here to LIPA I get a feeling of great pride, I am very proud of this school and what it did for me, it gave me a free education.

"Since we have been able to do LIPA we have managed to educate a lot of kids in performing arts who have then gone forward into the world."

Among LIPA's graduates is MTV star Liam Lynch who had a Top 10 hit with United States of Whatever in 2002.

Currently, 1,250 people are taught at LIPA each year with overseas students drawn from 38 countries making up a third of the student body.

Hear from students at the McCartney-backed school

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