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  'Crying' Zoe pulls out of Pop Idol concert
Updated 20 March 2002, 11.41

Thousands of Pop Idol fans were left disappointed after Zoe Birkett was forced to pull out of last night's concert after falling ill.

London's Docklands Arena was packed with screaming fans eagerly awaiting to hear the bubbly 16-year-old's duet with heartthrob Gareth Gates.

  Click here for all our Pop Idol stuff

But Judge Nicki Chapman - glammed up in a black leather dress - told the crowd that Zoe had laryngitis and tonsillitis and would not be able to perform.

"Zoe is in her dressing room crying her eyes out so I want you to give her a massive aaah to make her feel better."

Gareth and Hayley duet

Hayley Evetts stepped into Zoe's shoes for a duet with Gareth and the other seven finalists joined them on stage for a big band number.

A spokesman said Zoe should be well enough to perform in Sheffield, the next stop on the UK Pop Idol tour.

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