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Lloyd-Webber and Barlow combine to honour Queen

Two of the greatest composers in the history of British popular music. . . Oh, OK then, Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd-Webber have collaborated on a new song to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

If the thought of a hybrid of some old Take That lyrics welded to one of Lloyd-Webber’s syrupy melodies boggles the mind, well you will have to wait until June 4 to hear it, when it will be performed at the diamond jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace.

The concert will feature those artists old enough to remember the coronation such as Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Elton John, along with the perky youngsters JLS, who will presumably be expecting their knighthoods in the post on June 5.

More than 1 million people have applied for tickets for the concert, but as the venue only accommodates 20,000, most will have to watch on BBC1, which also has an hour-long documentary on the Barlow and Lloyd-Webber composition.

To research his lyrics, Barlow toured the Commonwealth to find out what the Queen means to people around the world. Lloyd-Webber felt no urge to emulate this conscientious approach, and probably just knocked off a tune on his piano in a spare half-hour.

A more suspicious man like Barlow might have been worried that the commission was just a scam to get him out of the country for a while. Instead the Take That frontman who is now better-known as an X Factor judge, was full of enthusiasm. "This is probably the biggest challenge I've ever taken on musically," he said. "I'm so excited and thrilled to be a part of it."

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