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The sheikh’s birthday

Fifty years young today, and we have a wonderful birthday surprise for our leader

By Tom Chatfield   March 2007

There aren’t supposed to be any presents, and there certainly won’t be candles and a cake. A little singing, I suppose, of a certain, sober kind. I, however, will be taking advantage of my position to offer something that’s both a gift and an awful lot more. Five minutes of film, gathered from 25 of our tapes (only five of which were actually broadcast—I protested, as artists do, but he’s nothing if not a perfectionist, and hates his public to see anything less than perfection). This tape, though, is different. It’s the greatest hits. The previously unseen footage. The special…

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