Australian singer JOHN FARNHAM is devastated after New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark vetoed his performance at an event to mark the 90th anniversary of the Anzac (AUSTRALIA NEW ZEALAND ARMY CORPS) Day battle in Gallipoli, Turkey.

The YOU'RE THE VOICE star had been invited by Australian organisers to sing at ANZAC COVER on 25 April (05), but the New Zealand premier is adamant it would be inappropriate to commemorate mass slaughter with a pop show and informed Frampton of her decision last year (DEC04).

Clark says, "I think with a commemoration of a series of events so tragic we need to be very careful that it's dignified and appropriate, out of respect to the dead and out of respect to the many, many people who suffered."

Farnham's manager, GLENN WHEATLEY, says, "The reason that I was given was that the New Zealand Government didn't think it was appropriate, they thought that we were putting on a 'pop concert'. It was far from being a pop concert, let me tell you."

BILL CREWS, president of Australia's RETURNED SERVICES LEAGUE, adds, "John Farnham was very mindful of that and was choosing things that were appropriate to the occasion.

"But this is a shared commemoration with ourselves and the New Zealanders and the program must reflect the consensus of all parties.

"We therefore should be respecting New Zealand's difficulties if that's the way it's being portrayed."

17/02/2005 14:07