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Rod Stewart sets record straight

As more calls come to regulate the press, the rock star Rod Stewart made a convincing case yesterday for measures to control interviewees, writes David Lister.

These would include: Don't give an interview while slightly inebriated; don't use phrases such as "I will retire'', followed by phrases like "one of these days," which can be terribly hard to take down in shorthand.

There was for a few brief hours yesterday a sense of loss among more mature rock fans when a tabloid newspaper splashed on its front page an exclusive interview with Stewart saying that the gravel-voiced one had sung his last note.

But at a press conference in Scotland later yesterday, Stewart said it had all been a misunderstanding, which arose when he talked to a newspaper "after a few bevvies".

The 50-year-old rock star, who launches his British tour in June, told reporters in Glasgow: "As I remember it, I was asked if I was going to retire and I said one of these days, yes.

"So the papers missed out the phrase `one day'. Obviously I am not going to do this for ever - but it's not in the immediate future."

He added: "I think we are like pioneers, us in our fifties. You don't know how long it's going to go on for. It could be finished this time next year, whenever."

Explaining how yesterday's misunderstanding arose he said: "To be absolutely honest I had a few bevvies yesterday afternoon." But Stewart insisted it was not a publicity trick to try to sell tickets. "I would never do that," he said, before setting off for another stadium to give another press conference denying that he was going to retire.