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Star names to perform at Edinburgh Games gig

KAISER Chiefs, Katherine Jenkins, Smokey Robinson and Rizzle Kicks have joined a list of star names who will perform before the start of the Commonwealth Games.

CASTLE CONCERT: Comedian Fred MacAulay, Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs and presenter Alex Jones launch the event.
CASTLE CONCERT: Comedian Fred MacAulay, Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs and presenter Alex Jones launch the event.

The BBC has announced that the acts will headline a one-off show at Edinburgh Castle on July 19, four days before the opening ceremony in Glasgow.

Paloma Faith, Il Divo, One Republic, Taio Cruz, Alfie Boe and Pumeza are other names on the bill, with some performers to be accompanied by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

The announcement of the show, which will also include comedy sets from Bill Bailey and Fred MacAulay, comes after it was revealed that Lulu will headline a show at Glasgow Green to coincide with the opening ceremony.

Glasgow band Belle and Sebastian will star in another opening ceremony celebration event at the revamped bandstand in the city's Kelvingrove Park.

Mr MacAulay, who attended a launch event for the BBC show in the grounds of Edinburgh Castle yesterday, said: "This is a really great event to get the party started for the Commonwealth Games, and to get so many great artists on the one stage makes it special. I hope that, not only the people of Edinburgh, but also the whole of the UK enjoy the show."

The Live at Edinburgh Castle gig will be broadcast live on BBC1 and hosted by One Show presenter Alex Jones. More than 8000 tickets, priced at £61, will go on sale this morning.

Ms Jones said: "I am so excited to be presenting Live at Edinburgh Castle with such an incredible line-up. I can't imagine a better backdrop than Edinburgh. It is going to be a fantastic night for those coming along or watching at home."

The show has been organised as part of the BBC's Commonwealth Games programme, which has been designed to complement its coverage of the sporting events.

Games organisers have said there is a potential television audience of one billion for the opening ceremony to be held at Celtic Park on July 23. The cost of both the opening and closing ceremonies has spiralled to more than £21 million, a rise of almost 50% on original projections.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that space on two derelict Glasgow tower blocks is to be sold to advertisers during the Games.

The Bluevale and Whitevale Towers, in the city's east end, have been rebranded the Glasgow XX towers and are being marketed as a possible location for two 20m x 40m banners.

Aimee McKay, sales director of blowUP media UK, which is marketing the space, said: "The Commonwealth Games are one of the world's biggest sporting events, and the towers will deliver unrivalled scale, impact and brand presence to an enormous audience.

"We expect considerable interest from advertisers, especially from leisure, sports, drinks, phone and automotive brands."

The sale of advertising space on Glasgow's two largest residential towers follows the scrapping of a plan to blow up five of the city's Red Road blocks during the opening ceremony of the Games.

Meanwhile, the Queen's Baton Relay spent the day in the Garden of England, visiting Tonbridge Castle in Kent, where it was welcomed by double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes and Sochi Winter Olympics gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold. The baton was later greeted by two bagpipers in Maidstone.

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