Lost footage featuring a young Sir Paul McCartney defending THE Beatles' popularity has been unearthed in south-west England.

The black and white film was shot in 1964 while The Beatles were visiting Plymouth and was broadcast on local news at the time. It was recently found at the UK's South-West Film Archive.

In the footage, McCartney is seen laughing off suggestions the Help! band's career would soon decline.

He says, "All the business that there may be small crowds, it doesn't worry anybody except newspaper men who maybe use it as a good angle.

"They say, 'Ha, ha, The Beatles must be finished because there are no crowds there.' But, you know, that sort of thing doesn't matter. Records matter, and we are doing OK on those things, thank you."

01/11/2004 13:42