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UK celebs airborne in new TV show.

Byline: Leo Leonidou

A GROUP of celebrities will be flying to the island as part of Britain's new ITV2 show called CelebAir.

The 11 famous faces have been trained by Monarch Airlines to take on positions including cabin crew, check-in and ticket desk agents.

The show, which made its debut in the UK last Tuesday, will see the celebrities working for the airline over a two-month period.

The stars will be flying customers from London Gatwick to a number of popular European destinations, including Larnaca, as they fight it out to become CelebAir's star employee and win money for their chosen charity.

Faced with the challenges and situations that are presented to Monarch staff on a regular basis, the celebrities will be rated and judged by their own customers as well as Monarch staff.

Each week, the worst performing celebrity, as judged by the passengers themselves, will be thrown off the show.

Two flights will operate to Larnaca from London Gatwick, on Saturday, September 20 and Saturday, October 4.

CelebAir will also fly to Faro, Alicante, Malaga, Ibiza, Menorca and Tenerife, with customers being able to book seats on www.monarch.co.uk/celebair.

"Larnaca is one of the destinations that Monarch regularly fly to and Monarch are the airline CelebAir has partnered with," Natalie Phillips from the ITV press office told the Sunday Mail.

A company airbus has been rebranded and will operate in special livery until the end of the series.

Commenting on the CelebAir partnership, managing director of Monarch Airlines, Tim Jeans said: "As the most experienced airline in the UK, who better to provide the support and infrastructure for the celebrities and CelebAir than Monarch? Celebrating our 40th anniversary this year, no UK carrier has a better knowledge of the airline industry than we do and we are proud to be sharing this expertise with the celebrities and taking responsibility for their training and mentoring."

Zai Bennett, Controller of ITV2, has been quoted as saying: "CelebAir promises to be a huge reality event. It is an incredibly ambitious project on a scale not seen before in reality TV. This definitely isn't a show for work-shy celebrities, we're taking on a real plane, with real passengers with real holidays to go on - it promises to be an amazing trip."

Prior to starting work, the celebrities all had to undergo and pass Monarch's rigorous six-week training programme which is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority and they will be required to adhere to these standards whilst working for CelebAir. They will be monitored and mentored by Monarch staff at all times.

Meet the crew

Michelle Marsh

The former Page 3 girl shot to fame in the Daily Star and has also appeared in Loaded, Maxim, Zoo and Playboy. She had a Top Ten hit in November 2006 with 'I Don't Do' and also appeared in ITV2's Wags Boutique.

Phil Cornwell

One of the most accomplished voice artists, comedians and actors in the business, Phil is best-known for his roles in impressionist comedy Dead Ringers. He has also appeared in The Bill, Doctor Who and I'm Alan Partridge.

Lisa Scott-Lee

A member of one of the UK's most successful groups, Steps, Lisa Scott-Lee achieved 14 Top Ten singles with the group before their split in 2001. She was the subject of a year-long MTV documentary, Totally Scott-Lee, in 2005 and appeared in Dancing on Ice on ITV in 2007.

Johnny Shentall

Johnny was a dancer for Steps, where he met future wife Lisa Scott-Lee, and joined boy band Boom! in 2001 before becoming the public choice to replace Kim Ryder in Hear'Say, the group spawned from the first Popstars series on ITV. Since Hear'Say, Johnny has appeared in musicals such as Starlight Express in the West End.

Mica Paris

Mica is one of the UK's biggest soul singers with a string of hits in the 80s and 90s, and after a 20-year career in the music business she moved into TV with appearances on The Wright Stuff, Loose Women and Strictly Come Dancing. Recently she has co-hosted What Not To Wear and appeared on Gordon Ramsay's The F Word.

Chico

Chico shot to fame in the 2005 series of The X Factor and became hugely popular for his cheeky chappy attitude, charisma and stage presence, with judge Simon Cowell describing him as "a born entertainer". His catchphrase "It's Chico Time!" became famous and he released a single of the same name in February 2006, knocking Madonna off the Number 1 spot.

Amy LamE[umlaut]

A presenter, comedian, club promoter and writer, Amy was raised in New Jersey and moved to London in 1992. LamE[umlaut] works as a radio presenter with Danny Baker on BBC London 94.9 and appeared on his podcast, the All Day Breakfast Show. She also appeared in the second UK series of Celebrity Fit Club and has made regular appearances on the programmes Loose Women and Richard & Judy.

Dan O'Connor

Dan is best-known in the UK for his role as Ned Parker in Neighbours. Prior to landing the role, he was a finalist on Australian Idol, performing the track 'Amazing' by Josh Kelley to get himself into the final 12. Dan left Neighbours in April of this year but will remain on our screens until October. His hope is to have a pop/rock record out by the end of the year after signing with new management.

Tamara Beckwith

One of the original 'It Girls', Tamara has appeared in a variety of TV shows including Shooting Stars, Brass Eye, Loose Women, Celebrities Under Pressure, The Big Breakfast, Trigger Happy TV and Dancing on Ice. She recently appeared on the BBC's reality TV programme Celebrity Scissorhands where Lee Stafford trained celebrities to cut hair, raising money as part of the BBC charity Children in Need.

Kenzie

Kenzie came to fame as part of the ten-piece pop/rap band Blazin' Squad in 2002, which he had joined aged 13. As a group they achieved six consecutive Top Ten hits, including a Number One with the single 'Crossroads'. The band split in 2005 and he went on to form Friday Hill and he became youngest ever contestant on Celebrity Big Brother. He also took part in 2006's Cirque De CelebritE[umlaut].

Lisa Maffia

Lisa first came to prominence as the main female member of So Solid Crew - a large collective of UK garage artists whom she had known since she was 13. They had five Top 20 hits, most notably '21 Seconds' and won a MOBO award in the Best UK Garage Act category. She's been voted by Nuts magazine as one of the sexiest brunettes in Britain and has modelled for Elle, Vogue and Maxim.

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Sep 7, 2008
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