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C4 to screen Glee with Glitter song

Channel 4 is to go ahead with screening a scene in TV hit Glee which features actress Gwyneth Paltrow performing a track by convicted sex offender Gary Glitter.

The performance is likely to lead to a hefty windfall for the disgraced singer and the song has become a download hit in the US, where it was screened earlier this week.

In the episode, to be shown by E4 next month, Paltrow sang the glam rock star's 1973 hit Do You Wanna Touch Me with a provocative dance routine. It had made it into the American iTunes top 30 on Thursday afternoon and songs from the high school TV show have become regular fixtures in the UK charts.

Shamed Glitter is expected to pick up royalties from sales of the song which Paltrow performs as teacher Holly Holliday, during a scene set in a sex education class. Children's charity Kidscape has said the inclusion of the song is "wholly inappropriate".

Glitter was jailed in Vietnam for sexually assaulting two girls aged 10 and 11 and he was later deported back to the UK. He had earlier been imprisoned for possessing pornographic images of children on his computer in 1999 and was ordered to sign the sex offenders register.

The song originally reached number two in the UK charts in 1973 and a cover by Joan Jett made a big impact in the US in the early 1980s.

However, since his convictions, Glitter's music has been largely banished from the airwaves and last year Radio 2 opted not to play one of his tracks during a lengthy countdown of best-selling songs because it was thought to be unsuitable.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: "The scene is editorially justified within the programme and we do not seek to censor material in the proper context."

The song will feature on a forthcoming album of music from the series to be released in the UK next month.

Mother-of-two Paltrow made it into the UK charts last month with songs she has recorded for the comedy drama.

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