London stage show Billy Elliot: THE MUSICAL is attracting controversy by featuring a song eagerly anticipating the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

The tune, written by SIR Elton John and lyricist Lee Hall, has shocked audiences with its cutting words, sung by a group of coal miner characters who are angry at the ex-Conservative leader for threatening to close uneconomical mines - and putting them out of work.

The labourers shout, "Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher/We celebrate today 'cos it's one day closer to your death," whilst wearing Thatcher masks.

The stage production, based on the 2000 film, centres on a boy ballet dancer growing up in the north of England during the country's 1984 miners' strike.

08/05/2005 21:50