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EDITIONS
Monday, 1 July, 2002, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
BBC launches Fame Academy
Robbie Williams
Can the BBC unearth a new Robbie Williams?
The BBC is launching a nationwide search for a new music superstar, following the fortunes of 12 contestants in a series billed as the Fame Academy.

The reality TV programme will follow the group living together, working together and rehearsing together and it is already being described as a mix of Pop Idol and Big Brother.

The programme makers promised that "some of the biggest stars of today" will visit the "academy" to give advice and support.

Contestants who are not making the grade will be forced to leave the Fame Academy.

Sophie leaves Big Brother
There will be Big Brother-type evictions
The programme is being made by Endemol, creators of Big Brother, and similar series have already been shown in Spain and France.

The BBC said the 12 contestants would be trained and supervised to reach the level of Robbie Williams or Dido.

Jane Lush, the BBC's controller of entertainment commissioning, said: "I'm really excited about the chance to combine story-telling, emotion and music.

"Whether you're a viewer, listener or surf the web, we're giving everybody the chance to experience the trials and tribulations of life in the academy."

The search for a new star will start with wannabes asked to send a VHS tape of themselves performing to the BBC, and the contestants will be chosen from the entrants.

Interactive

The BBC will also be making use of a wide array of its channels and interactive services to promote and develop the series.

It will be shown on BBC One, with programmes also on BBC Choice, BBC Radio 1 and with output on the corporation's internet service, BBCi.

"Public voting and viewer interaction will play a key role in the series as the Academy's star students begin to develop," the BBC said.

Other reality TV series such as Channel 4's Big Brother and ITV's Popstars and Pop Idol have so far proved to be ratings winners.

Pop Idol was also awarded Europe's top television honour - the prestigious Golden Rose of Montreux - in April.

But ITV's Survivor was relegated to a later time-slot after it did not attract enough viewers.

BBC News Online's coverage of Big Brother 2002


A closer look

Contestant profiles

FROM THE ARCHIVE

FROM CBBC NEWSROUND

HAVE YOUR SAY

Launch the Gallery

The Big Brother 12


See also:

14 Jun 02 | Entertainment
24 Mar 02 | Entertainment
04 Feb 01 | Entertainment
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