British chart-topper Tony Christie is furious with a newspaper for giving away a free version of charity song IS THIS THE WAY TO AMARILLO.

The seventies singer, whose re-released 1971 hit has raised more than $1.9 million (GBP1 million) for British charity Comic Relief, reckons the DAILY EXPRESS will affect sales of the official single with their version of an obscure 1990s recording of the track in Germany - which they are distributing with their newspaper.

Christie, 61, says, "I am surprised this has happened and have asked my lawyers to investigate.

"If people think they are getting the single for free they will not buy the one released for Comic Relief.

"It's amazing to think a song I recorded 34 years ago has gone to number one and has raised GBP1 million for charity. I am totally over the moon about it.

"But it's a shame a newspaper has done this. It has come out of the blue and it has left me angry and upset.

"I was not informed of any deals with the newspaper. Any royalties I may earn from this I shall immediately donate to Comic Relief."

24/04/2005 21:40