'Comical Ali' makes musical debut
LONDON, England (CNN) -- Iraq's former information minister is set to cement the cult status he won during the recent military conflict by featuring on a dance track due to be released in Britain this month.
Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf became known as "Comical Ali" by appearing each day -- with trademark beret and smile -- to emphatically deny events that viewers could see unfolding on their televisions.
Speaking daily to the media until the fall of Baghdad, Sahaf regularly condemned coalition forces and announced Iraq's imminent victory.
At one point during the war, Sahaf went on the roof of the Palestine Hotel and persisted with his denials, telling the world's media that there were no "infidels" in Baghdad. However, American troops and tanks could be seen a few hundred yards away.
"I triple guarantee you, there are no American soldiers in Baghdad" he assured reporters.
Record producers now hope to exploit the ex-minister's fame by releasing a dance track sampling some of his more colorful phrases such as his reference to U.S. troops: "God will roast their stomachs in hell at the hands of Iraqis." (Full Story)
The song, called "I can't believe what I'm hearing," was written by songwriter Alton Bryan and will be released in shops and clubs in two weeks.
It is predicted to follow Paul Hardcastle's 1986 hit about the Vietnam war, "19."
"It is set to be massive," executive producer Les Molloy told The Sun newspaper.
"There has already been a lot of interest from record stations and club DJs."
Producers say if Sahaf fails to claim the percentage of the royalties to which he is entitled they will be donated to an Iraqi children's charity.
Sahaf is not on the U.S. military's list of the 55 most wanted Iraqis but his whereabouts are unknown.
The record is only the latest attempt to exploit Sahaf's cult status. One spoof Web site, welovetheiraqiinformationminister.com, sprang up only to be forced offline by a global rush of visitors. About 4,000 Internet-users visited the site per second, Reuters reported.
"Comical Ali" merchandise is also being sold over the Internet, including Action Man-like dolls.
Sahaf has even been invited to join the Dubai-based Arabic television network, al-Arabiya, as a commentator and analyst, the news agency added.