Yawns greet BBC millennium line-up

A new version of Bob Marley's song "One Love" will be the BBC's official anthem on Millennium Eve, the corporation said yesterday. It will feature Marley's son Ziggy with the Gipsy Kings and the Boys' Choir of Harlem.

A new version of Bob Marley's song "One Love" will be the BBC's official anthem on Millennium Eve, the corporation said yesterday. It will feature Marley's son Ziggy with the Gipsy Kings and the Boys' Choir of Harlem.

The song will be part of a £12m, 28-hour marathon, 2000 Today, running across New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, hosted by a team led by Gaby Roslin and Michael Parkinson. The BBC calls the programme "the most ambitious live broadcast undertaken". It will include appearances by Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Professor Stephen Hawking, Sophia Loren, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Tina Turner, and the pop groups Eurythmics and Simply Red.

Sir Cliff Richard will perform live from Birmingham. Despite being snubbed by radio stations around the country, his "Millennium Prayer" single is at number one in the charts.

2000 Today has been planned for three years and will bring together 60 broadcasters, using 78 satellite paths, to capture events around the world.

John Simpson, the BBC's world affairs editor, will introduce the first minutes of the millennium from the South Pacific island of Kiribati, Barry Humphries as Dame Edna Everage will be in New York City's Times Square, and the veteran reporter Jeremy Bowen will be in Bethlehem. The children's broadcaster Jamie Theakston will present the millennium countdown concert from Greenwich, and the former Top Gear presenter, Jeremy Clarkson, will cover the last sunset of 1999 in Britain.

The line-up of familiar faces is seen as typical of the "safe" BBC television criticised by the Campaign for Quality Television. Michael Gambon, the star of the Dennis Potter drama The Singing Detective, said in a Radio Times interview: "They wouldn't do The Singing Detective now, would they?"

Comments