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Thursday, November 18, 1999 Published at 18:30 GMT

UK: Wales

Bassey will go world wide on the web

Shirley Bassey rehearsing at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium

Fans of Shirley Bassey around the globe will be able to watch the diva make her debut on the internet in a series of special concerts planned for next year.

No definite dates have been set, but September 2000 has been pencilled in as a possible date for the 61-year-old Welsh singer to belt out her hits, including Big Spender and Goldfinger, live over the web.

The Cardiff-born star was seen by thousands of television viewers performing at the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup at the Millennium Stadium last month.

The concerts would not just involve artists performing their best-known hits before a global audience, but also include discussions between them and their internet audience.

A huge star

"We still have to put all these ideas together," said Bryan Morrison of Arthur Shaw & Co, who have rights to broadcast the concerts .

"But that's the basic idea, to create compelling content - things people want to see - and Shirley Bassey happens to be a huge star."

The company, which is based at Willenhall, is also in talks with other big-name acts from the music industry about performing in similar concerts.

But while the initial concerts are expected to be available for free to internet users, there are plans to introduce a fee.

He believed that millions of people would have access to technology capable of showing TV-quality live pictures within the next six months, and tens of millions by 2001.

The company better, which is better known as a hardware supplier, has clinched an exclusive licence to broadcast the concerts as part of its expanding internet operations.

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