British TV talent show winner to sing for pope
A television talent show winner will sing for Pope Benedict XVI at a huge mass during his visit to Britain next month, the Catholic Church in Scotland said Wednesday.
Michelle McManus, 30, who won the 2003 "Pop Idol" contest, will perform before the start of the papal mass in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park in September 16.
It is hoped that international singing star Susan Boyle, another British talent show winner from Scotland, will also perform at the event.
"It is a fantastic addition to what should be a wonderful day," a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland said.
"It is a very historic event and I am sure it will be a tremendous event attended by thousands and watched by millions.
"It is a great opportunity for Scotland to show what a welcoming country it is to the world."
The event's capacity is 100,000 and so far around 66,000 people have confirmed they want to take part. Worshippers will be asked to pay an entrance fee of 20 pounds (31 dollars, 24 euros) to attend.
McManus's first single topped the British charts on the back of her "Pop Idol" victory. Her second failed to break the top 10 and she was subsequently dropped by the Sony BMG record label.
She has since appeared in television programmes about her weight and dieting.
Pope Benedict's four-day visit takes in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Birmingham in central England.
It will be only the second papal visit to Britain since England's king Henry VIII split with Rome in 1534, leading to the formation of the Anglican church.
Pope John Paul II visited Britain, where over four million of some 61 million inhabitants are Catholic, in 1982.
© 2010 AFP