U2 frontman Bono has demanded permission to re-record his original line in the charity re-recording of DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS? - over fears DARKNESS star Justin Hawkins' version will be used on the single instead.

The charismatic Irishman first thrashed out the emotive words "Well tonight thank God it's them, instead of you" in the 1984 original - which raised millions for Ethiopian famine victims - and was furious to discover Hawkins' recording is being considered for the 20th anniversary version, out this month (NOV04).

Hawkins fumes, "We both recorded the same line. I did it better than him but his management kicked up such a stink and he is going to do it again today (15NOV04).

"It means politically I'm not allowed to sing it. He's going to try and re-sing it - or they may decide to use the original line from 20 years ago. If he does try to re-sing it he has got balls of steel.

"I don't think I'll be given the chance to beat him again, which is fine. It's not an ego thing for me but to him it is very important."

Bono says he's changed the line slightly, "It's the big line, 'Tonight, thank God it's them instead of you.' Rather than that roar, I just tried it more of a whisper tonight."

Band Aid bosses have yet to confirm who will be singing the classic line on the final recording.

15/11/2004 14:27