Peter Gabriel has withdrawn from performing at this year's Academy awards after learning his song would be restricted to only 65 seconds.

The former Genesis singer is co-nominated for the best song prize for Down to Earth from best animated feature nominee Wall-E but was told he would have to perform as part of a medley.

The 59-year-old said he still intends to attend the awards ceremony on February 22nd but had hoped to perform the song in its entirety after receiving his first Oscar nomination.

Down to Earth, co-written with composer Thomas Newman, is nominated for the best song Oscar alongside two AR Rahman songs from Slumdog Millionaire.

Producers of the Academy awards have opted to cut the performances of the best song nominees for the 2009 ceremony in a bid to boost viewing figures.

"It's a bit unfortunate," said Gabriel in a video on his website, adding he believed songwriters deserved "a place in the ceremony as well".

"The songwriters are a very small part of the filmmaking process, but we still work bloody hard," he continued.

"I'm an old fart and it's not going to do me any harm to make a little protest. But the ceremony should be fun and I'm looking forward to it."

The Solsbury Hill star said he hoped the Soweto Gospel Choir would perform the song in his place.

13/02/2009 13:01:58