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Tender celebs in succour appeal

London, Jan. 5: Dressed in sexy knee-length boots, tight jeans and DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee) T-shirts, three of Britain's 'celebs' braved waves of press photographers and television cameramen yesterday to do their bit for the tsunami appeal.

Actors Denise Van Outen and Michelle Collins and Atomic Kitten singer Jenny Frost appeared at the Mount Pleasant postal sorting office in north London to encourage the public to keep the money rolling in.

The public has already done so without being asked.

Outen, who is skilful in getting herself into newspapers, is remembered in the Indian community for her distinctive sartorial style. At the world premiere of Bombay Dreams in 2002, she made sure she attracted the maximum attention by turning up in a dress depicting a graphic scene from the Kama Sutra. She made it to the papers.

No doubt Britain's celebs, major, minor and those 'resting' between parts, are as keen as anyone else to offer their help at a time like this.

The three women dropped in at the post office to cheer donors on, even though the Royal Mail has been deluged by half-a-million donations to the DEC. So far, the total stands at '76 million and is headed towards the '100-million mark ' twice the sum pledged so far by the UK government.

Van Outen, who has been in the cast of Chicago, said the three women had come together to try to help raise awareness of the vital work of the appeal.

Meanwhile, plans are underway to organise a huge charity concert on January 22 in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

'We have already been in touch with a number of A-list celebrities and of course they are the vital ingredient in this,' said the stadium's general manager, Paul Sergeant.

Cliff Richard, Boy George and opera singer Russell Watson have already announced that they would release a charity single to raise money.

Former BBC radio DJ Mike Read has written a charity single, Grief Never Grows Old, which he intends to release in aid of the tsunami relief fund.

One report pointed out that Read's previous projects include the failed musical, Oscar Wilde, which closed the day after the opening night.

In other developments, the man who sent hoax emails to 35 families of Britons missing in the floods saying their loved ones were dead has been identified. He is Christopher Pierson, a 40-year-old loner from the village of Leasingham in Lincolnshire who has apparently not recovered from the death of his baby son.

The father of three and a former company director has pleaded guilty in court in London and has been locked up for his 'own welfare' while his long-term future is decided.

He apologised, claiming the death of his uncle just before Christmas and the anniversary of his baby son dying in December 1991 triggered 'a moment of madness'.

Today, at noon, Britain, in common with much of Europe, observed a three-minute silence.

And Tony Blair, back from his holiday in Egypt ' he has been slammed for not returning earlier ' today said 'my estimate is we will need to spend from government several hundred million pounds ' so we will more than match the generosity of the British people'.

It emerged today that Indonesia has turned down Britain's offer of 120 Gurkhas to help with disaster relief.

Out of a sense of good taste, BBC television has pulled the screening of a '3-million docu-drama, Supervolcano, depicting the devastating effects of a giant volcanic eruption. It predicts one billion people would die worldwide if the volcano underneath Yellowstone National Park in the US were to erupt.

The programme is billed as 'a true story ' it just hasn't happened yet'.

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