Right of Reply: Christine Whitehead

The co-ordinator of the Cliff Richard Fan Club replies to Mark Steel's comments on the pop star and his current number one hit `The Millennium Prayer'
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The Independent Culture
I BELIEVE everyone is entitled to their opinion, and it is pretty obvious from Mark Steel's article that he isn't Cliff's No 1 fan.

His new electoral college voting system wouldn't work. He is assuming that only Cliff fans are buying the single and that, if they are Cliff fans, they can only eat, drink and sleep Cliff. Sorry to disappoint you. I am brunette (all my own colour, not a blue rinse in sight), and my record collection includes Puff Daddy, Led Zeppelin, U2, Will Smith, Fat Boy Slim and Robbie Williams, to name just a few.

When Prodigy release a single, I don't automatically slam it, but listen to it before having an opinion. Even if I don't like a single, I don't slate everything a person or group does, based on that one song. So, I may buy a Prodigy single yet.

It's easy to write things to catch attention, but you should check your facts. I am not going to bother to correct all the errors, but yes, Cliff did appear in South Africa - on the understanding that he would appear only if it were to a mixed-race audience.

I suspect that the limit of Mark Steel's Cliff knowledge is listening to the Summer Holiday album. Cliff has the unique ability to change his music with the times. This ability has enabled him to have hits in five decades, 14 No 1s, and the record for the most number of weeks in the singles charts. He recently released "Can't Keep this Feeling In" on a white label with just the name Blacknight, and ended in the Top 10 of two music stations - only to be abandoned when they discovered that it was Cliff.

"The Millennium Prayer" is in fact a song taken from an album called Hopes & Dream (not by Cliff). In the coming years, we all have to unite to make this world a better place for future generations, no matter what our nationality or religion.

"The Millennium Prayer" may not be everyone's cup of tea, but 450,000 people so far appear to disagree with Mark Steel. And the more articles written by people like Mark, the more the song and Cliff get publicity. So, well done Mark. Cliff couldn't have paid for better publicity.