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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 January, 2005, 09:55 GMT
Geldof 'would consider peerage'
Bob Geldof
Geldof organised the Band Aid recordings
Bob Geldof has said he would consider accepting a peerage after topping a poll for the person people would most like to see in the House of Lords.

The Band Aid co-founder won 36% of votes on BBC Radio 4 Today programme's poll. He will now be put forward to the body which selects "people's peers".

Mr Geldof said he would not be attracted by the title of Lord and would not want it to become a chore.

But he was interested in building new coalitions behind his aid work.


The singer, who topped the charts with the Boomtown Rats, joked that the nomination had ruined his holiday in the Alps, where he had been teased about being Lord Lederhosen from a "Peer Idol" contest.

But he said it was very flattering to be chosen by the "clearly highly intelligent and visibly very good looking" Today listeners.

There were a number of questions which he would have to consider if the House of Lords Appointments' Commission asked him to serve.

The tsunami is an act of God, an act of nature, Africa is an act of man
Bob Geldof
Band Aid founder

He told Today: "Could I pursue the things that interest me further and more effectively or not? Would it compromise my ability to speak only for myself? Could I contribute to other debates and be useful?

"Could I still play concerts and make records? Part of me thinks they only voted for me just to stop me playing concerts and making records - but music is the thing I like.

"Would it add to my life and be enjoyable or would it be a chore or confining?"

Funds diverted?

Mr Geldof is already on the Commission for Africa established by Tony Blair and has contacts at the top of government.

He said: "I have got fairly good access anyway but as this is a legislative body there are many more people that I would like to get to and talk to and form coalitions around and that would interest me very much indeed."

He argued that 2005 could be a genuinely extraordinary year, which had already opened with compassion and kindness.

Former Foreign Secretary Lord Hurd has voiced concerns the focus on the Asian tsunami disaster will divert funds away from aid to Africa.

Mr Geldof was also worried by that prospect, although the "monstrous tragedy" in Asia could not be ignored.

'Resolution possible'

"The tsunami must be dealt with. It is an act of God, an act of nature," he said.

"Africa is an act of man. Millions die every year completely unnecessarily.

"That can be adjusted, we can actually resolve that issue. I don't think we can resolve problems like earthquakes and tidal waves. We can be warned against them."

Mr Geldof was awarded an honorary knighthood in 1986 but as an Irish citizen is not generally called Sir Bob.

Peers have to be UK residents for tax purposes and be citizens of the UK, Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland.

The House of Lords Appointments Commission considers all nominations for independent "People's Peers" and makes its choices when Tony Blair decides to recruit a new batch.

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19 Dec 04 |  Entertainment
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