Pop stars to be lampooned in cartoons

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LONDON - The world's most famous pop stars are to be lampooned in a television cartoon after the success of a series of children's books mocking their celebrity lifestyles.

Author of the tongue-in-cheek tales is Peter Robinson, founder of the www.popjustice.com Web site that appeals as much to music industry insiders as it does to teenagers.

"They are aimed at all ages. They are written in a childlike way like the 'Mr Men' books but they are for adults as well as kids," he told Reuters.

"I particularly loved the idea of writing a book about Michael Jackson that you could read to children."

In "A Boy Called Michael" Robinson writes: "If you were to line up lots of pictures of Michael, you might think that he had changed himself lots to look different. You would be wrong to think that -- most of this has happened by itself!"

"In the book on Britney Spears, I said she should stop having babies and make another album. She is now doing that so I hope we played a small part," Robinson said.

He has now signed a deal to turn the slim volumes into an animated TV series.

Elton John is satirized for his shopping sprees and short temper. Recalling one of his outbursts about lip-synching at concerts, Robinson writes: "Once Sir Elton was very mean about a girl called Madonna.

"He said that Madonna should not make people pay to watch her pretend to sing songs. Elton was very angry about this. He was so angry his head almost fell off."

Feedback, as far as Robinson knows, has been positive.

"Robbie Williams was given a copy early on of the book about him. He really liked it and took it home," he said.

No collection of cautionary pop tales would be complete without the story of "A Boy Called Pete" about singer Pete Doherty, the self-confessed drug addict and on-again off-again boyfriend of supermodel Kate Moss.

"I didn't set out to make it moral but it's difficult not to see it as a good example of why you should not take drugs all the time," Robinson said.

As the book explains, Pete "likes to take lots of mind-bending Class A drugs. Unfortunately Class A drugs are not very good for you. They make you smelly and a bit untidy-looking."
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