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Cook reveals the coolest people in Britain

THE GOVERNMENT yesterday stepped up its bid to project a fresh modern image for "Cool Britannia" by unveiling a panel of experts charged with promoting a true picture of the nation to the rest of the world.

Foreign Secretary Robin Cook revealed the names of the 33 men and women who will make up the new Panel 2000, including designer Stella McCartney, Channel 4 News presenter Zeinab Badawi and Minister Without Portfolio, Peter Mandelson. The move comes as Tony Blair prepares to launch the Powerhouse:UK exhibition of the work of young British designers to coincide with the arrival of foreign leaders for this week's Asia-Europe Meeting.

Mr Cook said yesterday that the Panel 2000 was not out to "re-brand" Britain and he promised that the Government was not turning its back on the country's historic heritage.

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