FUNDRAISING NEWS: Chicken Shed aims to reach top of the pops with celeb CD

The Chicken Shed Theatre Company, Europe's largest children and youth theatre, is hoping that a celebrity CD will secure the Christmas number one spot and raise money for the charity.

Chicken Shed, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, has persuaded Gabrielle, Sir Cliff Richard, Emma Bunton, Elaine Paige and others to perform songs that have been composed by the theatre. The record will be released in November.

"We're hoping it will top the charts and we've employed a record 'plugger' to get it played," said spokeswoman Susan Hill. She added that actor Bob Hoskins, one of the charity's supporters, had been promoting the CD in recent TV appearances.

Hoskins was one of the stars at the charity's gala dinner at London's Hilton Hotel last week. The event, which included a charity auction hosted by Christopher Biggins, raised more than £100,000.

Chicken Shed also launched its first celebrity cookbook last week, with recipes from Cherie Blair, Raymond Blanc and others.

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