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Birthday boy Bono halts editor job to celebrate

BONO turns 50 today -- but had to cut short his new 'career' as a guest newspaper editor to fly to New York for his birthday bash.

The U2 frontman and Bob Geldof were invited to edit Toronto's Globe And Mail which today carries a special issue on Africa.

The two visited the paper's newsroom over the weekend and got straight into the business of putting the newspaper together.

They were the first guest editors on the leading Canadian newspaper.

Bono is expected to celebrate his landmark half century birthday with a blow-out bash in New York tonight, surrounded by family and friends.

He turned up at the Globe And Mail offices in Toronto wearing his trademark untinted shades, telling newsroom staff with a laugh: "We're your bosses now!"

The Globe's editor in chief, John Stackhouse, told the two Irishmen: "You guys are in charge."

They discussed stories by the paper's correspondents on Africa, with Bob Geldof saying he was glad to have the opportunity to edit the Globe.

"It's so important," Geldof said, "We can do marches, pop concerts, but one of these editions changes things."

The two discussed business and sports with staff, with Bono saying they wanted an interview with soccer superstar Didier Drogba from the Ivory Coast.

"It's fever over there, one of the reasons we wanted Drogba is that in the last World Cup they were in the middle of a civil war," Bono says. "But when Cote d'Ivoire qualified, they actually put off their war for it."

Bono was running late to catch a flight, but just before he left the office, Geldof pointed out that the Globe's Monday issue would coincide with Bono's birthday.

The newsroom staff broke into a chorus of 'Happy Birthday' before he left.

Bono has relocated his family to their €20m San Remo penthouse in Manhattan as renovations are completed on his Killiney mansion.

He and bandmates Adam Clayton, The Edge and Larry Mullen have also been working in the States for the past few weeks, gearing up for the next leg of their U2 360 degree tour, which kicks off in Salt Lake City on June 3.