Black rights campaigners have slammed the line-up of the London leg of charity supergig LIVE 8 as "hideously white".

London-based BLACK INFORMATION LINK are appalled at the absence of black artists from the 2 July (05) bill, which includes Sir Paul McCartney, U2, SIR Elton John, Coldplay, Madonna, and REM.

But organiser SIR BOB GELDOF says he has asked several leading Afro-Caribbean acts to take part, with no success.

A Live 8 spokesman says, "We have approached a number of black British artists and some turned us down."

However, Black Information Link has accused the team behind the concert of "handpicking a hideously white line-up to perform in a concert to highlight African poverty."

The 22 acts confirmed for the UK gig are all white, apart from MARIAH CAREY, who is an ethnic hybrid of African-American, Venezuelan and Irish.

Black British singer Jamelia, an avid campaigner for the MAKE POVERTY HISTORY campaign, is thought to have been overlooked due to being six months pregnant at the time of the show.

However, her spokesman says, "If Jamelia were approached, I'm sure she would like to play some part in the event."

The bills for the other Live 8 gigs display a little more cultural diversity - 50 CENT, Stevie Wonder and SEAN 'P DIDDY' COMBS will star at Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway, former FUGEE LAURYN HILL is performing at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, while YOUSSOU N'DOUR is on the Paris line-up - the only African artist in the entire event.

02/06/2005 14:05