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Bellshill belle's bid for top; Get Your Act Together BBC1, 6.25-6.55pm.

A BELLSHILL girl makes a bid for stardom on a TV talent show.

No, this is not a reference to Sheena Easton who did just that and went on to become a superstar with a lavish LA lifestyle to match.

In tonight's show, hosted by Boyzone star Ronan Keating, another lassie from the Lanarkshire town hopes to follow Easton to the top as a singer.

Twenty-three-year-old Yvonne Tipping works for a small jazz and classical record company in Glasgow, where part of her daily job is to promote other musicians. Now it's her turn.

Could history repeat itself with another star transformation?

Yvonne is given the stardust treatment by record producer Charlie Rapino, who has worked with the likes of Take That and the Minogue sisters, and top stylist Mr Gammon, the man behind the look of the Spice Girls, Louise and Billie.

A radical haircut and change of image is called for - although Yvonne is not convinced.

But she knows this is her big chance so she agrees to take the advice of the professional image- makers.

Competing for a place in the grand final, and the chance of scooping a recording contract with a major record company, Yvonne is up against duo Jim Birmingham, 35, from Portsmouth, and Phil Anthony, 33, from Coventry, who teamed up after meeting on a holiday cruise.

Now they compose their songs over the telephone and meet up when they can at halfway points in service stations to jam in the back of the car.

Producer Steve Levine, who worked with the Beach Boys, China Crisis and The Honeyz, takes them in hand at Abbey Road studios. Phil and Jim are gobsmacked to be in the famous Beatles citadel. Will top clipper Trevor Sorbie give then both mop tops?

Claire Eastman, who has choreographed videos for Jimmy Nail, Elton John and Duran Duran, works hard to help them relax.

The day of reckoning then follows before a live audience, while anxious friends and family look on.

Jim says: "As a Beatles fan, to be at Abbey Road was amazing, but to be there recording our own material was a dream come true. "

Yvonne wants to win and emulate Easton but admits: "Just being on the show is absolutely brilliant for me."

Cold War

BBC2, 8.05pm WHEN Dr Tomothy Leary, the guru of LSD, urged American youngsters in the '60s to `Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out', millions did.

Never had the nation been more economically stable and yet so socially unsettled.

Cold War highlights the '60s, the decade that saw a sea change in American society.

Born after World War II to parents who had prospered during the boom years of the '50s, the children of the affluent middle- class came of age as civil rights and social justice moved to the front burner.

Young white Americans lived the good life while young blacks remained rooted in a much tougher reality.

Meanwhile the Vietnam war raged on and Nixon tried to rally the `silent majority' against the millions of young people who wanted American troops withdrawn. The aftermath of student killings by National Guardsmen at Kent State galvanised the mood of the country

It was also a turbulent time politically, with the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King.

Key figues of the decade are interviewed - Nixon aide John Ehrlichman, Black Panther Booby Seal, poet Allen Ginsberg, Playboy boss Hugh Hefner and Senator Eugene McCarthy, the anti- war Democratic Party candidate.

Footy Shorts

Ch5, 11.30am BEFORE the '60s, most people would have laughed at the idea of footballers becoming as glamorous as rock stars.

Then, along came George Best and all that changed.

So when Channel 5 turns its spotlight on soccer, it's not a grizzled old veteran of the sports pages who's in charge but actress and TV presenter Sarah Cawood.

She's promising "scintillating secrets about the lives of the beautiful game's rich and famous" as she plays footsie with footie's finest.

Among the stars is Arsenal heart-throb Stephen Hughes, with whom Sarah chats in the back of a chauffeur-driven limo.

The Spying Game

Ch4, 7.30pm WHEN you think of spy technology, the space-age gadgets with which Q kits out James Bond spring to mind.

But, in fact, the most important gadget for any spy is one of the most humble - the radio.

Without communications, 007 might be licensed to kill but he couldn't even get information through to his bosses.

The real spy world and its fear and paranoia are the focus of the latest in The Spying Game series, Are You Receiving Me?

The producers have rounded up a variety of different real-life spies to tell their stories.

One is Ruth Werner, who operated as a Soviet spy from her house in the Cotswolds for five years during World War Two.

Meanwhile, the Radio Security Service was set up to find spies like Ruth.

They never caught her but , to their knowledge, no German agents ever successfully transmitted from Britain.

The programme also features Charles Bovill, who invented the S-phone, a virtually undetectable radio telephone.

When even radio signals were too dangerous, the Allies used carrier pigeons.

The Germans eventually worked out what was happening ... and ordered all pigeons shot on sight.
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 13, 1999
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